15 Male Inmates Say They Had Sex With Judge In Exchange For Reduced Jail Time
The trial of a former US judge accused of having sex with male inmates in exchange for leniency is set to start today in Mobile, Alabama.
Herman Thomas, 48, denies the charges, which include sodomy, kidnapping, extortion, sex abuse and assault.
Prosecutors say they have 15 current and former male inmates -- who admitted to having oral or anal sex in exchange for reduced sentences -- lined up to testify in a trial that could take several weeks.
Thomas, known for wearing distinctive bow ties, resigned as a judge in 2007 following allegations that he checked inmates out of jail for meetings in either his car or in his office at the county courthouse to have sex. The men also said the judge would have them pull down their underwear for spankings with a wooden paddle. Freaky.
Last April, he was indicted on more serious charges of sodomy and kidnapping. If convicted he could face a sentence of life in prison.
The former judge, who has already lost his license to practice law, says this is all a ploy to destroy him politically, adding he was merely trying to mentor the inmates.
But this seems like a pattern. In 1991 and 2001, two similar allegations were brought against the judge. Those cases were dismissed, however.
His attorney called the indictment "a high-tech lynching" by some in power in Mobile. "They don't like uppity black folks, and that's what they consider Herman," Clark said.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a civil rights organization, has said that Thomas is being prosecuted because of his race.