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National Briefing / Texas

Guilty plea in judge's abuse case

February 24, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A federal judge pleaded guilty in Houston to lying to investigators about sexually abusing his secretary; in exchange, prosecutors dropped five charges alleging he groped the secretary and another female court employee.

U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent is the first federal judge ever charged with a sex crime. As part of the plea agreement, he admitted he tried to force his former case manager into unwanted sex acts in August 2003 and March 2007, and did the same with his secretary from 2004 through at least 2005.

Kent also retired, effective immediately. The plea came as jury selection for his trial was to begin. Prosecutors agreed to seek no more than three years in prison when Kent is sentenced on May 11.

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