JDDC: Judge solicited sexual favors for reduced sentences

JDDC: Judge solicited sexual favors for reduced sentences

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission announced Tuesday the filing of formal charges against Cross County District Court Judge Joseph Boeckmann.

Boeckmann is accused of prejudicial bias and using his influence over male litigants for his "personal and sexual desires."

According to the AJDDC's formal charges, Boeckmann has awarded "substitutionary sentences" to male litigants to perform work at his home.

The "work," according to the document, included picking up cans while "Boeckmann would photograph the buttocks of the men as they were bending to retrieve the garbage."

The charges allege the judge used his judicial status to form personal and sexual relationships with defendants who appeared in his court.

"He then solicited sexual relations with these young men in exchange for reductions of or dismissal of their court fines and costs," the claim alleges.

The documents stated Boeckmann has "repeatedly engaged in this practice since taking the bench on Jan. 1, 2009."

He is accused of sentencing men to less fines and community service than women who are charged with the same or similar offenses.

"Court staff is unable to understand Boeckmann's sentencing strategy," the document stated.

Banking records also reportedly indicated Boeckmann gave money to multiple lawyers in Wynne who appeared before him while representing litigants.

"Boeckmann also gave money to public officials in Wynne, whose agencies are responsible for criminal investigations of individuals appearing before Cross County District Court and criminal defendants with cases before Boeckmann's court," the documents stated.

Boeckmann has 30 days to respond to the formal charges and is entitled to a hearing before the JDDC.

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