Two federal employees recounted years of courthouse assaults and unwanted sexual encounters yesterday at the hands of federal judge Samuel Kent of Galveston, Tx., the Houston Chronicle reports. For years, Cathy McBroom and Donna Wilkerson stayed silent as an often intoxicated Kent cornered them to inflict unwanted kissing, groping and occasionally furtive sexual touching, they said. Congress started fast-track impeachment proceedings against Kent after he said he would keep a $174,000 annual paycheck while in prison.
“A judicial reign of terror,” said Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA.). “I knew there would continue to be victims if no one did anything about it,” McBroom told the panel. “That thought nagged at me.” In a written statement, Kent blamed his behavior on alcoholism, an unspecified personality flaw, and the sense of loss he suffered during and after the death of his first wife from brain cancer. “Perhaps I was attempting to meet an unfilled need for affection,” he wrote.