Wednesday, October 01, 2008

JUDGE WATCH: Galveston Federal Judge Sam Kent Indicted For Sex Crimes

Hurricane Ike isn't the worst of problems for Sam Kent, who presides as judge over the Federal District Court over in Galveston. Ike's actually been a big help to Judge Kent.

Judge Kent has been indicted (formally charged) with three crimes: (1) two counts of abusive sexual contact and (2) one count of attempted aggravated sexual abuse. His trial was initially set for the first week of November, in a Houston federal courtroom -- now that Ike's done its damage, the trial has just been moved back to January 2009.

First Federal Judge to ever be charged with federal sex crimes

Judge Kent is the first federal judge - ever - to be charged with federal sex crimes. If he is convicted, he could face life imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.00. Judge Kent is 59 years old.

What's the story? No one's denying something happened ...

Judge Kent's former case manager has said that the judge groped her, and tried to force her into a sexual act. The Department of Justice investigated, and these formal charges are the result of that investigation.

Judge Kent calls the charges “flagrant, scurrilous” (quoting the New York Times) and promises lots of witnesses will testify on his behalf. Judge Kent also told Fifth Circuit Judge Ed Prado, when he was asked to formally respond to these charges, “I plead absolutely, unequivocally not guilty and look very much forward to a trial on the merits.” (NYT)

His attorney, Dick DeGuerin, isn't denying that something happen between the judge and the employee; instead, DeGuerin has explained that what happened between them was consensual. “To charge Judge Kent of conduct of which he is absolutely innocent based on this kind of flimsy evidence is inexcusable and we will fight it to the bitter end,” DeGuerin said (quoting the Wall Street Journal).

In the meantime, the Judge is on the bench ....

Innocent until proven guilty, Judge Kent is still hearing cases from the bench.


New York Times

Houston Chronicle

Wall Street Journal

Monday, September 29, 2008

DA Watch: On Second Thought, Let's Drop All the Charges

This is a great story.

It all began last week, over in West Viriginia, when some poor guy got pulled over because he was driving with his headlights off.

After he was pulled over, the police suspected that this guy (let's call him "Jose" because that's his name - Jose Cruz) was driving drunk, so they had Jose do a few field sobriety tests.

Jose failed. Jose was arrested. The cops took him to jail.

At the jail, Jose was being fingerprinted (imagine how bad a day that Jose is having right about now) which is part of the standard booking process. He'd get photographed, too -- you've seen those mugshots over at, right? (Heather Locklear's is online today, for her DUI bust this weekend.)

Well, while Jose is getting his inky fingers smashed on the fingerprint boards, Jose let one go. You know what I mean. Jose passed gas. Jose let one rip. Jose cut the cheese. Jose broke wind.

Jose pooted or tooted, but there was absolutely no report that Jose asked the officer to pull his finger.

And then, yes folks, Jose was arrested for BATTERY because he passed gas while he was being booked. The cop that was standing there said that "the odor was very strong." You think?

I suppose that if Jose HAD asked the officer to pull his finger, then an assault charge would have been added ....

Of course, this story went all over the web that night. Drudge Report had it as one of their headlines, it was all over the blogs and forums -- you get the idea.

And, the next morning, one of the assistant prosecutors roamed into the magistrate's office and asked that the battery charge be dropped.

It was. Fancy that.

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