More come forward with allegations against Arkansas judge
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas disciplinary panel said Tuesday that more victims have come forward with allegations against a judge accused of carrying on inappropriate sexual relationships with defendants.
The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission filed new civil administrative charges against Cross County District Court Judge Joe Boeckmann after more accusers came forward to say Boeckmann offered them reduced sentences and later took or requested inappropriate photos of them.
Boeckmann’s attorney, Jeff Rosenzweig, didn’t immediately return a phone call late Tuesday seeking comment on the allegations. He filed a seven-page denial of the previous allegations last month.
Boeckmann is accused of showing preferential treatment and handing out off-the-books sentences that included picking up trash at his home. He allegedly took inappropriate photographs of some defendants during those punishments.
Commission Executive Director David Sachar said since the allegations in November, more victims have come forward. Sachar said the amended complaint also includes additional evidence from the commission’s investigators.
“There are new victims. Some of them came forward directly because of media coverage. They contacted us and said, ‘I saw what’s going on and it happened to me too,'” Sachar said.
One accuser, whose name was withheld, said Boeckmann offered him $300 to pose nude in the same position as Michelangelo’s statue of David.
Other men said they narrowly escaped the requests because they brought female family members with them to the scheduled community service.
Sachar said the commission also obtained the photos, many taken from 6 to 8 feet away and others of only the men’s buttocks.
The commission alleged Boeckmann wrote more than 100 checks worth $30,000 to young white men who appeared before him in court or their defense attorneys from his various bank accounts.
The charges were amended to include witness statements saying Boeckmann was seen leaving court with the defendants in his car.
The commission has scheduled a hearing in the case in September.
“We have information from witnesses that go back years, if not decades. That information will be relevant at trial in our opinion. It includes times when Boeckmann was a lawyer and or a prosecutor,” Sachar said, indicating some allegations took place before Boeckmann was elected as a judge.