Ex-Judge Admits to Trading Light Sentences for Nude Photos, Sex Favors

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CN) – A former Arkansas judge admitted Thursday to dismissing minor criminal cases in exchange for nude photographs or sexual favors from male defendants.

FILE – This undated file photo provided by the Pulaski County Sheriffs Office shows former Arkansas district judge Joseph Boeckmann. Boeckmann pleaded guilty Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, to wire fraud and witness tampering and faces around 2½-3 years in prison, though a federal judge could impose a shorter or longer sentence. Boeckmann admitted giving lighter sentences to defendants in return for nude photographs and sexual favors.(Pulaski County Sheriffs Office via AP, File)

O. Joseph Boeckmann, a former district court judge in Cross County, Ark., pleaded guilty to wire fraud and witness tampering in a deal with prosecutors that calls for a prison sentence of up to three years, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker accepted the 71-year-old’s plea on Thursday in Little Rock federal court, but set his sentencing for an undetermined later date.

Federal prosecutors say Boeckmann admitted to using his position as a district court judge to dismiss traffic citations and misdemeanor criminal charges for young men in exchange for what he claimed was “community service.” He used his access to these individuals during their purported community service to take photographs of them in compromising positions.

In other cases, Boeckmann dismissed pending charges against defendants in exchange for sexually related conduct, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office announcing the plea agreement.

The former judge also admitted in court that he bribed a witness in an attempt to obstruct an official investigation into his scheme.

Boeckmann and his lawyer, Jeff Rosenzweig, refused to comment outside of the courtroom, according to media reports. He has been on home detention since his arrest in October 2016.

Boeckmann’s actions have been described by the head of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission as among the worst case of judicial misconduct in the state’s history, the Associated Press reported.

Boeckmann served on the bench from 2009 to 2015.

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