LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- A former Arkansas judge accused of giving lighter sentences to defendants in exchange for nude photos and sexual acts has been indicted on federal fraud and bribery charges.
The indictment against former Cross County District Court Judge Joseph Boeckmann was unsealed Monday. He's facing several charges, including wire fraud and witness tampering.
Boeckmann, 70, resigned in May after an investigation into allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships with men accused of crimes dating back decades, to his time as a prosecutor.
That investigation was conducted by the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. The agency said Boeckmann had more than 4,600 photos of nude or semi-nude men in various positions.
When each individual’s case was called, Boeckmann would instruct that individual to wait until the court session ended so that he could speak with that individual alone. When the court session ended, he would call that individual up to the bench and explain to that he would dismiss the case if that individual would perform “community service.”
Boeckmann would instruct some of the individuals to collect cans and litter, and then, under the pretense of documenting the individual's "community service," he would photograph the individuals posing in compromising positions.
In one particular case, Boeckmann offered the individual the option to have his case dismissed for “community service” by being photographed naked or while masturbating or by allowing Boeckmann to paddle on his bare buttocks.
These “community service” activities were arranged by Boeckmann personally and were not conducted under the auspices of the Arkansas court clerks or any non-profit or charitable organization.
Once he finished photographing or paddling the individual, or once the individual completed his labor at Boeckmann's personal residence, he would declare the “community service” complete and dismiss the individual’s case, relieving the individual of the obligation to pay fines, fees, and costs that would have otherwise gone to the relevant county, city, and court and in some cases to the State of Arkansas.
In a further effort to conceal the scheme, Boeckmann instructed several of the individuals not to tell anyone about the “community service” sentence that he had imposed on them.
In two cases, he attempted to bribe and threaten the individuals and claimed he would provide false information to investigators regarding the "community service."
Stay tuned with THV11 and THV11.com as this story develops.