Monday, October 17, 2016

Former judge Boeckmann indicted on federal charges

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 1:11 PM

click to enlarge JOSEPH BOECKMANN: In Pulaski Jail mug shot.
  • JOSEPH BOECKMANN: In Pulaski Jail mug shot.
Former District Judge Joseph Boeckmann of Wynne, who stepped down from the bench in May amid a judicial conduct investigation that he traded light sentences for sexual favors from defendants, has been indicted on federal charges.

A 21-count indictment filed Oct. 5 was unsealed today. It accuses Boeckmann of wire fraud, bribery, violation of the federal travel act and witness tampering.

Here's the indiictment.
Boeckmann, 70, quit the bench and agreed never to seek office again as the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission was investigating allegations that he gave favorable treatment to young men defendants in court in return for sexual improprieties, particularly posing for suggestive photographs, sometimes nude and after paddling. He wrote checks to lawyers for the young men, had images on his computer and was accused of a variety of other misdealings in using his court for illicit purposes. Boeckmann presided over misdemeanor and traffic  cases.

Information developed in that investigation was shared with federal authorities, who  continued to investigate.

The indictment is based on Grand Jury testimony from nine unnamed people who'd appeared in Boeckmann's Cross County court on minor charges.

The eight wire fraud counts say taxpayers were deprived of fines and fees that otherwise might have been assessed in Boeckmann's court on on account of his scheme to use his position to obtain "personal services, sexual contact and the opportunity to view and to photographi in compromising positions persons who appeared before him traffic and misdemeanor criminal cases in exchange for dismissing the cases." Typically, the indictment said, he'd wait until court had concluded and asked to meet with defendants alone. Then he'd provide his personal telephone number to work out terms of "community service." He'd have them pick up litter and photograph them bending over to pick up cans. He also variously offered consideration to people for being photographed naked, masturbating or after paddling. The judge altered dockets to show erroneously that sentences were discharged for community service. Boeckmann used the telephone or text messages to carry out the scheme.

Federal program bribery was charged because the state of Arkansas received federal assistance for operation of the justice system.

Ten charges of violation of the federal travel act pertain to telephone calls made or, in two cases, actions Boeckmann took to entice someone to travel from Tennessee to Arkansas.

The two witness tampering charges alleges that, between October and November of last year, Boeckmann attempted or used another person to attempt to intimidate, threaten or otherwise corruptly persuade a witness not to testify before the Grand Jury.

Boeckmann is in custody at the Pulaski County Jail pending a bond hearing at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

David Koon wrote a cover story about the case in June. Boeckmann's name surfaced again in a recent violent death in Wynne, though as yet no authority has made a direct connection in the cases.

The FBI investigated the case with assistance of the  State Police and the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. Trial Attorneys Jonathan Kravis and Peter Halpern of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Special Prosecutor Jack McQuary of the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney’s Association are prosecuting the case.

Emily White, whose investigation for Judicial Discipline blew the case open, issued a statement:

Today is a good day for the people of Arkansas. Accountability does extend to judges. Mr. Boeckmann could not escape criminal liability just by resigning his office as a judge. The overwhelming majority of judges in this state are honest, fair and hardworking people. We have said that before, however, Mr. Boeckmann was an exception to that norm. Today, I am delighted for the victims and witnesses who came forward and spoke the truth about Joseph Boeckmann to both the JDDC and other agencies. Their bravery shone a light into the darkness that surrounded Mr. Boeckmann and his many victims. Judges should at all times remain neutral and detached and fair and impartial in their dealings with citizens. They are generally the last persons we expect to prey on members of society. I trust that the criminal conduct we uncovered through our ethical investigation will be fully handled by the agencies responsible for overseeing those areas of the law.

Tags: , ,

Favorite

Speaking of Joseph Boeckmann, Judicial Discipline And Disability Commission

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas conservatives react to same-sex marriage decision

    Jason Rapert, Mike Huckabee, the Meeks bros, Jerry Cox — beyond these extremists, it's hard to find statements from other Arkansas conservatives. That tell you something?
    • Jun 26, 2015
  • Monticello preparing for KKK rally

    Drew County authorities are taking precautions, but also watching their words, about apparent plans for a Ku Klux Klan meeting Saturday.
    • Jul 22, 2015
  • In defense of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights

    An op-ed in today's New York Time by Katha Pollitt says what I've been struggling to say about the reaction to the attack on women's reproductive rights launched by means of the undercover videos made by anti-abortion activists.
    • Aug 5, 2015

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Labor department director inappropriately expensed out-of-state trips, audit finds

    Jones was "Minority Outreach Coordinator" for Hutchinson's 2014 gubernatorial campaign. The governor first named him as policy director before placing him over the labor department instead in Jan. 2015, soon after taking office.
  • Lawsuit filed against ADC officials, prison chaplain convicted of sexual assault at McPherson

    A former inmate who claims she was sexually assaulted over 70 times by former McPherson Womens' Unit chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has filed a federal lawsuit against Dewitt, several staff members at the prison, and officials with the Arkansas Department of Corrections, including former director Ray Hobbs.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Most Viewed

  • As teacher shortage looms, legislators want to make firing educators easier

    Even if one accepts the dubious premise that "bad teachers" are a root cause of struggling schools (rather than a consequence of them), where will the "good teachers" come from to fill positions at schools in districts like Helena and high-poverty campuses in Little Rock?
  • Hutchinson establishes Office of Transformation with goal of streamlining state government

    The Governor's office today announced the creation of an "Office of Transformation" along with a new chief officer for the agency, with Gov. Asa Hutchinson saying the goal of the office would be to "drive efficiency" in government and streamline state operations.
  • Car crashes through Argenta Bead Co., causes thousands in damage

    A wayward Mercedes-Benz careened off Main Street in North Little Rock following a traffic accident Saturday night, with the car smashing through a window and destroying a door at Argenta Bead Co. The impact knocked over shelves and scattered what the owner of the business called "thousands and thousands and thousands" of beads and charms, including several expensive and rare antique glass beads — across the store.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation