Retired 70-year-old Arkansas Judge Joseph Boeckmann has pled guilty to 21 counts of judicial misconduct for giving lighter sentences to young men found guilty of minor crimes in exchange for nude pics and sexual favors. Boeckmann, who retired last year, faced federal charges for “wire fraud, bribery, violation of the federal travel act and witness tampering” involved in his sexual dealing, according to the Arkansas Times.
Boeckmann’s court (located 100 miles outside of the Arkansas capitol of Little Rock) mostly handled traffic tickets and misdemeanors. He would often offer the men “community service” rather than hundreds of dollars in fines and court fees.
Nine men testified to a Grand Jury that Boeckmann would ask defendants to meet with him privately after court and then provide his personal phone number to work out details of “community service.” The men would reportedly pick up “bottles and cans while Boeckmann took photographs.” Other times, Boeckmann would ask them to masturbate or let him paddle them.
Investigators found over 4,600 digital photos of the men on Boeckmann’s computer. Skeezy.
Of 254 men that Boeckmann sentenced to “community service,” only 13 have court records reflecting completion of some kind of actual community service. That suggests that the other 241 struck a special deal with the former judge. Some of the men who refused reportedly served jail time. Boeckmann has been offering such “deals” since his days as a prosecutor in the 1970s.
You can read a full, detailed report of Boeckmann’s shady dealings.
According to the Associated Press, “Dozens of men who had passed through his court accused the judge of misconduct dating to his time as a prosecutor decades ago.” Boeckmann also admitted to hiring someone to threaten a defendant who notified state prosecutors of his misconduct.
David Sachar, head of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, called Boeckmann’s actions among the worst cases of judicial misconduct in state history.
Boeckmann initially faced 260 years in prison and $2.5 million in fines, but U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker says that he will likely get a lighter sentence — and he didn’t even have to give her any naked pics or sexual favors.