Many people think of judges as citizens who represent the type of behavior that is a model for everyone in the community. In most cases, that is the truth. As in any profession, however, there are sometimes instances in which judges might find themselves being accused of conduct that is unbecoming. That situation is one at the heart of a hearing that is coming up in April.
The judge in this case is being accused of sexually harassing his former court clerk. Despite her allegations, the judge asserts that he hasn’t ever had an intimate or sexual relationship with the woman. She claims that he showered her with cash and gifts. He doesn’t deny those allegations.
The judge admits that he gave her cash and a BMW. She says that she did accept gifts from the judge, but that his demands for attention and frequent texts began to make her feel uncomfortable. Late in 2013, she was so upset that she says she threatened to tell her husband about the gifts and end the relationship.
In April, the case will go before the state’s judicial commission. That is made up of six members of the public, two lawyers and three judges. They will determine if the allegations have merit. If the commission determines that the allegations aren’t proved, the charges against the judge will be dismissed.
This case shows just how broad the scope of sexual harassment is. It also goes to show that nobody is exempt from being accused of sexual harassment. Anyone who has been the victim of sexual harassment in California has the right to take action against his or her harasser.
Source: Visalia Times-Delta, “Hearing set for judge accused of harassment” ric Woomer, Feb. 11, 2015