An ex-judge from the US state of Arkansas has been given five years in jail after it was found that he had traded lighter sentences in exchange of sexual favours from men.
Joseph Boeckmann had given minimal sentences to male defendants in exchange for nude photos and sexual acts. The 72-year-old was handed down the sentence on Wednesday, 21 February, after he pleaded guilty to charges of federal bribery, fraud and witness tampering in October 2017.
The indictment filed against him also stated that he had used his power "to obtain personal services, sexual contact and the opportunity to view and to photograph in compromising positions persons who appeared before him in traffic and misdemeanor criminal cases in exchange for dismissing the cases".
The penalty against the 72-year-old "broken, ailing man" also includes a $50,000 (£35,826) fine and three years of supervised release. He has been given 30 days to turn himself into Federal marshals to begin his term. The judge also ordered him to undertake psychosexual evaluation and mental health treatment while in prison, KARK reported.
Local media reports stated that Boeckmann's lawyers had sought home detention for him, while prosecutors suggested three-year jail time but US District Judge Kristine Baker dismissed all the pleas.
She said that after hearing from two of his victims she had no choice but to give him a harsher punishment. Baker said, "He acted corruptly while serving as a judge. When his back was against the wall, he obstructed justice. That sets his crime apart."
One of the ex-judge's victims, Richard Millinan told the court that he was victimised after being stopped for driving 5mph over the speed limit in 2014.
Millinan said as he forgot his trial date, the former judge called him to his house and clicked pictures of him from behind. The victim also said that Boeckmann took photos of some of his tattoos. He added that he was betrayed by the justice system and called Boeckmann a "monster", who put him through "sheer terror".
"I've never felt more betrayed by the justice system. How can a mere 37 months be a means to pay back society?" Millinan told Baker, requesting her to give a longer sentence to Boeckmann than the 30- to 37-month term.
Another victim, Kyle Butler, said he was also forced to pose for photos by the former judge in exchange of the lighter sentence. Butler added that Boeckmann had helped him following a traffic accident and in return of that he used to regularly call him and forced him to clean up a laptop that had been slowed down by a cache of X-rated pictures and videos.
"I had to do as he said. He held all the keys to my freedom," Butler said in a letter written before Wednesday's hearing, a portion of which was read to the judge.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Boeckmann had faced investigation by FBI earlier also in 1990s for taking nude photos of inmates when he worked as a deputy prosecutor, but was not charged after he agreed to resign. However, he later became a district judge and continued that behaviour.
Judge Baker considered the FBI's 1990s investigations also for the Wednesday hearing despite resistance from Boeckmann's lawyers.
Milliman said it was shame that Boeckmann got another opportunity to victimise more people. "How are you supposed to talk about another man violating you? Why wasn't it stopped long before now?" he added as reported by The Daily Mail.