Judge accused of having sexual relationships with defendants

AP News
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Posted: Nov 17, 2015 5:50 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A state disciplinary panel is accusing an Arkansas judge of having inappropriate sexual relationships with defendants.

The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission lodged administrative charges Tuesday against Cross County District Judge Joe Boeckmann. If substantiated, the commission could recommend his removal from office.

The complaint alleges the judge inappropriately handled cases involving a man he was dating, the man's siblings and employees of a business run by Boeckmann's sisters.

The panel alleges Boeckmann showed preferential treatment to white men and allowed sentencing not recorded on court dockets, including picking up trash at his home. He's accused of taking inappropriate photographs of some defendants during those punishments.

Boeckmann has 30 days to respond to the allegations and ask for a hearing.

He didn't immediately return phone calls seeking comment.