Nutbag Judge Exposes....Himself
By SHAUN SCHAFER , 06.30.2006, 09:34 AM
A former judge could be sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of exposing himself by using a sex gadget while he presided over trials.
The jury on Thursday rejected Donald D. Thompson's contention that the device was a prank gift that he had never used, convicting the 23-year judicial veteran of four counts of indecent exposure.
The conviction will require Thompson to register as a sex offender and could jeopardize his $7,489.91-a-month pension. Jurors recommended one year in prison and a $10,000 fine on each count. Bond was set at $75,000, which Thompson's attorneys said would be posted Friday.
Thompson was accused of using the device during four jury trials in 2002 and 2003.
His former court reporter, Lisa Foster, testified that she saw Thompson expose himself at least 15 times. During one trial in 2002, she said, she heard the pump's "sh-sh" sound during the emotional testimony of the grandfather of a murdered toddler.
Foster told her story to authorities only after being subpoenaed, saying she feared she would lose her job. The investigation into Thompson's actions began after a police officer saw the pump in the judge's courtroom. Thompson fired Foster after the investigation began.
Thompson maintained his innocence, saying the white-handled device at the center of allegations against him was simply a prank gift that he never used.
"In 20-20 hindsight, I should have thrown it away," he testified.
In closing arguments Thursday, defense attorney Clark Brewster called the device "a joke."
Prosecutor Richard Smothermon said he would pursue a misdemeanor charge of misuse of state property against Thompson that was separated from the trial before opening statements.
"He was at the pinnacle of the justice system in Creek County, and now that justice system has held him to the same standard," Smothermon said.