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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Employees Say Judge Was a Horn Dog

GALVESTON, Texas (CN) - A former Brazoria County judge fondled worker's breasts and sent them pornographic text messages and e-mails, and when they filed charges against him the county fired them, the chief and assistant chief of the Brazoria County Juvenile Probation Department claim in Federal Court. The women say that Judge James Blackstock "was likely abusing his public office and the rights of female citizens over the course of at least 15 years."

Department chief Diana Coates and her assistant Margo Green say Judge Blackstock's behavior forced them to avoid being alone with him.

"The first reported sexual harassment complaint brought by a Brazoria County employee against Blackstock related to harassment dating back to 1993, indicating that this judge was likely abusing his public office and the rights of female citizens over the course of at least 15 years," according to the complaint. "Upon information and belief, his more recent activities victimized at least ten employees of Brazoria County."

Green says that Blackstock went so far as to have her pick him up, and as she was driving near the courthouse in broad daylight he reached across the seat and fondled her breast.

"Ms. Green continued to the courthouse, where she parked and waited for him to get out of the truck," the complaint states. "Blackstock then asked when they could get together, stating that Ms. Green would have to tell him what she liked sexually."

Green and Coates say they were afraid of losing their jobs if they reported Blackstock, but when a subordinate who had been accepting gifts from Blackstock admitted that he sexually harassed her too they decided to file charges.

Brazoria County judges were aware of Blackstock's history and told Coates about an employee's sexual harassment charge against Blackstock in 1995 that was defeated on a technicality, according to the complaint.

County judges started a campaign of retaliation against Coates and Green after they filed charges that led to their termination on the pretext that they were influencing other Blackstock sexual harassment victims who filed charges with them, they say. "In total, seven EEOC charges were filed," the complaint states.

"On Aug. 29, 2008 Blackstock entered a plea to misdemeanor criminal charges, paid a very small fine and resigned from the bench in September 2008," according to the complaint.

Coates and Green seek punitive damages from Blackstock and Brazoria County, for sexual harassment, quid pro quo sexual harassment, assault, and retaliation. They are represented by Jacqueline Armstrong of Houston.

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