Arkansas judge accused of coercing young men into sex in exchange for lighter sentences
An Arkansas judge was accused of targeting “young Caucasian male litigants” and using his position to offer them lighter sentences in exchange for sex, the Arkansas Times reported.
The state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission said in a statement on Tuesday that District Court Judge Joseph Boeckmann would not only offer “substitutionary sentences” to men appearing before him in court, but also hand out lighter fines and sentences to them compared to women charged with similar offenses.
The commission said that Boeckmann would target men between the ages of 18 and 35 and have them do “community service” by picking up cans either along local roads or at his house. Once there, the group’s complaint stated, the judge would take pictures of their buttocks as they bent over to pick up the cans.
“Multiple male litigants have been photographed by Boeckmann during these ‘community serivce’ type sentences,” the complaint said. “Boeckmann maintained these photographs of male litigants’ buttocks in his home for his own personal use.”
According to the Arkansas Times, Boeckmann is accused of carrying out these illegal arrangements since 2009. One man mentioned in the statement said that the judge paid him to allow himself to be photographed in the nude as well as clothed, and also removed “pornographic images” from Boeckmann’s computer. The commission’s complaint stated “on information and belief” that Boeckmann had pictures of underage boys on his computer, which will lead to it being searched.
The judge is also accused of giving money to lawyers and law enforcement officials who appeared before him, as well as to the court itself for litigants who carried out his “substitutionary sentences” or with whom he had personal relationships.
Boeckmann has 30 days to respond to the commission’s allegation. However, the group does not have the authority to suspend him from the bench. The commission’s executive director, David Sachar, said that he has not ruled out asking the state Supreme Court to suspend Boeckmann if he does not agree to step down. The Times reported that Boeckmann is not running for re-election next year.