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Arkansas Judge Allegedly Offered Female Defendants Freedom For Sexual Favors

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An Arkansas judge resigned from his position on Saturday when accusations were revealed that he had arranged deals for female defendants in exchange for sexual favors. The judge, Timothy Parker, sent a letter to the Arkansas governor, Asa Hutchinson, announcing his choice to step down. He also wrote that he realized he could never serve as a judge again.

The news was made public on Tuesday by the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, which is investigating Parker. According to the commission, he has repeatedly denied the accusations, but resigned in order to avoid being formally charged with a violation of judicial conduct. He was also worried about how the dispute would affect his family, but said that his term would expire soon anyway.

In a letter describing the allegations, the commission wrote that Parker had a pattern of “personal relationships with many female litigants” and made deals such as releasing them from jail without bail, or constructing bond conditions that were favorable for the women. The commission said there are video statements from more than a dozen women, recordings of conversations, and text messages as evidence against him.

There are also other allegations against Parker that say he often showed up without notice at the county jail to release friends of his without bail and would give them a ride home in his own car. This part, the commission said, he admitted to. Parker is also facing criminal charges for the accusations. David Sachar, director of the commission, said:

Bonds would be set, or release of the women on their own recognizance was ordered by going to the jail or via telephone. The bonds or release of these women or their family or friends were done by their request in exchange for sexual favors.

But Parker kept denying his guilt, and when asked by the Associated Press why he didn’t contest the accusations, he answered, “I have young children and I don’t want them exposed to that kind of crap.”

This is not the first time this has happened in the state. In October another Arkansas judge, O. Joseph Boeckmann, was arrested for giving male defendants lighter sentences in exchange for sexual favors, which he called “community service.” The defendants had committed light crimes like traffic or misdemeanor offenses. Boeckmann made at least nine men, between 16 and 22 years old, collect trash from the ground and bring it to his home, where he snapped compromising photos of them and asked them to perform sexual favors. He later threatened or bribed them to make them keep quiet, and focused on vulnerable defendants who couldn’t afford to pay their fines.

Emma Von Zeipel
Emma Von Zeipel is a staff writer at Law Street Media. She is originally from one of the islands of Stockholm, Sweden. After working for Democratic Voice of Burma in Thailand, she ended up in New York City. She has a BA in journalism from Stockholm University and is passionate about human rights, good books, horses, and European chocolate. Contact Emma at EVonZeipel@LawStreetMedia.com.

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