Samuel Kent Judge Samuel B Kent Above the Law blog.jpgFor about a year now, ever since he took a mysterious leave of absence in August 2007, we’ve been following the troubles of Judge Samuel B. Kent (S.D. Tex.). A suspension from the Fifth Circuit, allegations of breastfeeding and BJ requests — it hasn’t been pretty.
Yesterday things got even worse for Judge Kent. From the Houston Chronicle:

U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent was indicted Thursday on charges of abusive sexual contact and attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a female employee, making him the first federal judge to be charged with federal sex crimes and the first in Texas indicted in recent history.

Congratulations, Your Honor? It’s a privilege to be FIRST.
The alleged victim — Judge Kent’s former case manager, Cathy McBroom — issued a statement after the indictment came down:

“After a very difficult 17 months, I feel like I have finally been validated. I have listened and read with horror as Judge Kent’s lawyer suggested that what happened to me was ‘enthusiastically consensual,’ ” wrote McBroom, who remains a federal court employee. “I am relieved to find that even federal judges are not above the law, and that sexual abuse in the workplace is never acceptable, no matter the status of the offender.”

Thanks for the shout-out, Cathy!
A little bit more, below the fold.


“Consent” is Judge Kent’s story, and he’s sticking to it:

Kent’s attorney Dick DeGuerin… repeated his description of the incidents in the indictment as “enthusiastically consensual” and part of a close personal and professional “relationship” the two shared.

Sounds like an interesting “relationship,” personally and professionally. It wasn’t just consensual, but “enthusiastically consensual.”
“Please, Your Honor, suckle at my teat! Oooh, just like that…. thanks. I’ll have the Ramirez case file for you in just a minute.”
As for Judge Kent, he’s taking a page from the William Jefferson / Ted Stevens playbook: just because you’ve been indicted on federal felony charges doesn’t mean you have to resign. His lawyer tells the Chronicle that Judge Kent will not resign or retire: “He’s not guilty, and we will go to trial.”
Update: More developments in the case are discussed here.
U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent indicted in sex case [Houston Chronicle via WSJ Law Blog]
U.S. District Court Judge Charged with Attempted Aggravated Sexual Abuse [U.S. Department of Justice (press release)]
United States v. Kent [U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (indictment)]


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