Judge Gets 5 Years in the Slammer

(CN) – A former El Paso Criminal Court judge was sentenced on Friday to 5 years in federal prison for taking bribery. Former Judge Manuel Barraza also was ordered to forfeit $5,100 he took in bribes, and will be under supervised release for 3 years after he serves his time.

     A federal jury convicted Barraza in February of two counts of wire fraud and deprivation of honest services and one count of making false statements. He was acquitted of one count of mail fraud.
     The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the evidence showed that Barraza solicited and accepted cash bribes over a 3-month period, starting in December 2008.
     “He also solicited sex and agreed to accept a bribe of engaging in sexual activity with women. These acts were all committed in exchange for his influence and exercise of discretion in his official capacity as an elected judge,” prosecutors said. “In carrying out his bribery scheme, Judge Barraza promised to intervene in a felony criminal case filed by the State of Texas pending in state district court in order to influence the outcome of the case.”

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