(CN) – A federal judge from Texas will be forced to leave the bench after the House unanimously approved four impeachment articles. Samuel B. Kent, a former judge for the Southern District of Texas, is serving a 33-month prison term for trying to cover up sexual assaults on two female employees.
Kent’s former case manager, Cathy McBroom, filed suit after Kent allegedly propositioned her and reached under the clothing. According to indictment documents filed in January 2009, Kent tried to force another female employee to have oral sex with him at the post office and courthouse in Galveston, Texas, where Kent was serving as the lone federal judge.
In June 2007, Kent lied before a special investigative committee of the 5th Circuit, saying the extent of unwanted sexual contact with the second female employee was “one kiss,” when in reality he repeatedly harassed her, the indictment says. Kent was charged with aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact and obstruction of justice.
Kent is the first federal judge to be charged with a sex crime, and the first to be impeached since Walter Nixon Jr. in 1989, who was convicted of perjury.
Kent submitted his resignation on June 2, but will continue to receive his $174,000 salary for the next year. He claimed he was entitled to his salary due to disability; he has bipolar disorder and depression.
Kent was appointed to the district court in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush.
He is currently serving his prison sentence at a federal prison medical facility in Massachusetts.
The case will move to the Senate for a trial.