An Arkansas judge is accused of soliciting sex and labor from male offenders in exchange for sentence reductions and court leniency, PEOPLE confirms.
The state’s Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission has filed ethical misconduct charges against Cross County District Court Judge Joseph Boeckmann, accusing the 69-year-old of carrying on inappropriate sexual relationships with defendants and possessing child pornography, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Jeff Rosenzweig, Boeckmann’s lawyer, tells PEOPLE that his client denies the allegations, and that “we will fight the charges.”
The charges are not criminal, which means if the accusations are proven true, the commission could recommend that the Arkansas Supreme Court remove Boeckmann from his judicial position, the Associated Press reports.
The 15-page complaint, filed by a state Department of Human Services investigator, alleges that the judge used his role to target “young Caucasian male litigants” for sexual relationships and labor at his home and the homes of his peers.
The men in the complaint were between the ages of 18 and 35. David Sachar, the commission’s executive director, tells PEOPLE that the commission is investigating potential incidents from 2009, when Boekmann became a district judge, to now. He added that the case has been turned over to the prosecutor’s office, which could file criminal charges.
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The complaint alleges that Boeckmann handed out “substitutionary sentences”, like picking up trash at his home or cans along the streets, in lieu of community service. He reportedly instructed them to meet him at his home or office.
“Upon the litigant presenting himself to Boeckmann’s home or office he then solicited sexual relations with these young men in exchange for reduction of or dismissals of their court fines and costs,” the complaint states.
The judge allegedly took photos of the mens’ buttocks and kept them “in his home for his own personal use,” the complaint alleges.
Boeckmann allegedly spanked one victim “both for Boeckmann’s sexual pleasure or as for punishment to A.A. for criminal conduct.”
“[The alleged victim] received money for this conduct if the spankings were sought for Boeckmann’s pleasure,” the complaint states, adding that Boeckmann photographed the victim after the spankings.
The complaint also alleges that Boeckmann possessed pornographic images of boys under the age of 18 on computers at his home.
Another victim said Boeckmann had him remove pornographic images from computers in his home which he allegedly posed for himself.
Boeckmann will have 30 days to respond to the charges. He is also entitled to a hearing in front of the commission, the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette reports.
Boeckmann did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.