A former judge in Arkansas has found himself on the wrong side of the law after being indicted for allegedly giving out more lenient sentences in exchange for nude photographs and sexual favors.
Time reports that former Cross County (Arkansas) District Judge Joseph Boeckmann was indicted Monday. Accused of inappropriate sexual relationships with defendants, Boeckmann used his powerful position "to obtain personal services, sexual contact, and the opportunity to view and to photograph in compromising positions person who appeared before him in traffic and misdemeanor criminal cases in exchange for dismissing the cases," according to a grand jury.
According to the Washington Post, the former judge dismissed traffic citations and misdemeanor charges in exchange for naked pictures from at least nine different male defendants, some of whom were as young as 16 years old. In what he called "community service," Boeckmann, who is 70 years old, had defendants pick up litter and bring it to his home, where he then took pictures of the defendants in "compromising positions." Boeckmann told one defendant that he'd dismiss the case if the defendant would let the judge take pictures of him while he was masturbating or being spanked.
Several men, including some underage boys, accused Boeckmann of sexual abuse and misconduct, and said that the judge "paid to spank them with a paddle and take photos of the red skin," according to Time. Boeckmann allegedly paid others for nude photos, so the defendants could use the money to pay off their fines. Boeckmann allegedly had nearly 5,000 pictures of naked or semi-naked men.
Boeckmann has been indicted on eight counts of wire fraud, one count of federal program bribery, two counts of witness tampering, and ten counts of violating the federal Travel Act. Each of the most serious charges alone could land the ex-judge in jail for 20 years, according to Reuters.
According to BBC, the head of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability commission called the judge's actions "if not the worst, among the worst cases of judicial misconduct" in Arkansas' history.