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Federal judge indicted for sex crimes

Thursday, August 28, 2008
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A federal judge has been indicted. U.S District Judge Samuel Kent was indicted Thursay on federal sex crimes charges, brought by a former case worker of his who worked with him in his office.

Judge Kent is facing charges of abusive sexual contact and aggravated sexual abuse. The victim alleges this all started back in 2003 and occurred again in 2007.

As of now, Judge Kent claims it was a consensual relationship. The victim claims that wasn't the case.

Legal analyst Joel Androphy sees this playing out as a swearing match.

"He said, she said and the case is going to get resolved by who gets more corroboration, who gets more support for their witnesses," said Androphy.

The accuser, Cathy McBroom, has hired attorney Rusty Hardin. Through Hardin, she released the following statement.

"After a very difficult 17 months, I feel like I have finally been validated. I have listened and read with horror as Judge Kent's lawyer suggested what happened to me was 'enthusiastically consensual.' I am relieved to find that even federal judges are not above the law, and that sexual abuse in the workplace is never acceptable, no matter the status of the offender. When I heard the outcome of my complaint to the 5th Circuit Judicial Council, I was shocked that Judge Kent's conduct was not viewed more seriously, and that he would be allowed to continue to sit in judgment of others. I read what happened to me referred to as 'sexual harassment.' The indictment makes clear that the Department of Justice and the Grand Jury recognize that what happened to me was much more than offensive words. I no longer have to worry that my complaint had fallen on deaf ears. It was been heard, has not been ignored by the criminal justice system, and I am both relieved and thankful. I am now satisfied to let this matter now be resolved by the very court system that I have faithfully enjoyed serving for the past eight years."

Dick DeGuerin, Judge Kent's attorney, released the following statement Thursday:

"Judge Kent is innocent of charges. He did have a relationship with this woman, worked for him for six years never complained about their relationship, which was completely consensual. The first time she ever complained was when she was about to be fired. Then she successfully avoided getting fired by making these outrageous claims that are not true. We will contest it and we will go to trial. Important thing to knows is that 5th Circuit Judges heard all of the evidence and they could not arrive at a unanimous or near unanimous verdict that Judge Kent had done anything wrong. This is a classic swearing match between a woman who has motive to lie and a United States District Judge who has faithfully served the public for 18 year as District Judge and 15 years as lawyer."

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