A former federal judge was sentenced this week for three misdemeanor charges. He pled for leniency, as did his wife and adult children. But the sentencing judge ultimately felt that jail time was necessary stating “He has disgraced his office…he has encouraged disrespect for the law.”
The 67 year old judge was arrested on October 1 for buying drugs with his stripper-mistress. He paid her to purchase the drugs because she already had a criminal record. He drove her to the buy with two of his guns in the car and informed the dealer (an undercover agent) that he would be back for more.
The judge met the stripper earlier last year when she gave him a table dance. Soon they were partying together, snorting cocaine and having sex. He also gave his new girlfriend his $825 government issued laptop.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the judge’s poor judgment was due to a combination of depression, bipolar disorder, improper prescriptions, and brain damage after an bicycle accident in 2000. Though he was remorseful for his actions, his sentencing judge didn’t see his apologies as sufficient.
At the sentencing hearing, his adult children and wife spoke. Though they’ve been separated, the couple has decided to work on their marriage to see if it can be mended.
His sentence includes 30 days in jail, with time served for a weekend he spent locked up after the initial arrest. He was also sentenced to pay a $1000 fine and perform 400 hours of community service. Finally, he will be required to reimburse the state for the cost of his prosecution, an amount that hasn’t yet been determined.
Everyone makes bad decisions; some of these decisions are criminal. But, not everyone gets caught. This story goes to show that even judges, administrators of justice, can end up on the other side of the law.
Damage to his marriage and his career are likely far more sobering to this judge than his sentence. Though he wanted to remain at his home during his sentence, on house arrest, thirty days in jail is relatively minor. He’s already been working with Habitat for Humanity, so it’s likely his community service hours will go quickly too.
When you are facing criminal charges in Georgia, the law doesn’t care who you are. Whether you are a banker, a cook, or a judge, you can be sentenced to jail or prison time. Knowing what sort of penalties you are up against is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding the system and building a proper defense.
If you are facing criminal charges, contact our attorneys today for a consultation on your case.