U,S. District Judge Samuel Kent of Texas was indicted yeterday on charges of abusive sexual contact and attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a female employee, reports the Houston Chronicle. He was the first federal judge to be charged with federal sex crimes and the first in Texas indicted in recent history. Kent’s former case manager, Cathy McBroom, complained that the judge touched her under her clothing twice and often made obscene suggestions during the six years she worked for him. In the indictment, he is accused of making unwanted sexual contact “with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass (and) degrade.”
Said McBroom: “I have listened and read with horror as Judge Kent’s lawyer suggested that what happened to me was ‘enthusiastically consensual.’ ” Kent’s attorney Dick DeGuerin, however, repeated his description and said that “to charge Judge Kent of conduct of which he is absolutely innocent based on this kind of flimsy evidence is inexcusable and we will fight it to the bitter end.” He said McBroom complained about Kent as a way to divert attention from a mistake she made handling evidence that could have resulted in her firing. It was be only the sixth time in the last 30 years that a federal judge has been charged with a federal crime. The most recent was in 1991, when U.S. District Judge Robert Collins of Louisiana was sentenced to prison for taking a $100,000 bribe from a drug smuggler. He resigned in 1993.