SEX AND A LOWLY JUDGE

Michael Sean Quinn*

            A Justice of the Peace, the lowest
level of judgeship (“JP”), was recently accused of sexual harassment in a
federal suit brought in the Northern District of Texas.  The plaintiff was a former clerk (“Clerk” or
“Plaintiff”) in Tarrant County Texas in which Ft. Worth is the major city. 

            The harassment did not happen just
by itself. Apparently there were various sex acts performed over a period of 5
years, or so.  The Plaintiff appears to
be claiming that none of them was purely voluntary, partly because Clerk was
JP’s subordinate at least to some degree and partly because JP had power over
her since he had lent her money. (This is true, even though many JPs are part time.)

Apparently, she says (or implies), JP liked to have sex of
some sort with his judicial robes on.  Some may regard that as not only harassment
but both comical and a special source of immediate subjectively felt shame for
Clerk, as well as objective, but perhaps not felt, shame for JP.  (No doubt many–lawyers, judges, and others–are curious about geographical locations utilized. Some low-life wits would even speculate that there might have been a demand for a special “bench trial”  of some sort, now and then.)

            Plaintiff says that she demanded he
stop demanding sex acts of her after he son died, since, she asserts, she felt
like he was looking down on her from heaven.

By
“deep” semantic implication, of course, the idea of “looking down” has at least
two meanings—one being geographical and one involving moral judgment.

            Clerk asserts in her Complaint that
she had a sample of JP’s semen which spilled onto her dress.  One wonders given that evidence there has not
been some sort of pre-filing settlement. One would expect that given that kind
of evidence, assuming the evidence is what Clerk says it is, the dispute in the
District Court will not be whether there was sex, but whether it was
consensual.

            Obviously, this will be a closer
case than many of these kinds of cases usually are. Clerk does not alleged she
was drugged or drunk, so it is not a “Cosby Case,” and it is not an obvious
“Physically Forced Rape Case,” given the many acts and the prolongation of the
relationship.

            Interestingly the “Lewinsky
Evidence” does not prove harassment. It only proves sexual encounter. Nor does
it evidence repeated encounters. Clerk as pled that she told other county
employees about what was going on over the last couple of years, but that does
not prove much at all, because she could be lying for several different
reasons. (For example, the defense might say, she’s greedy, crazy, or both.)

            Of course, the “Lewinsky Evidence”
will prove improper conduct by a judge under the Texas regulatory rules, but
that is a disciplinary matter, and it may—independent of that problem—produce
political problems for JP’s reelection. Some might believe that using this as
some sort of defense to something has already occurred to JP and his defending
counsel.

*Michael Sean Quinn, Ph.D., J.D., c.p.c.u. . . .

*The Law Firm of Michael Sean Quinn et

Quinn and Quinn

                                 1300 West Lynn Street, Suite 208

                                             Austin,
Texas 78703

                                                 (512)
296-2594

(512-656-0503

                                            (512)
344-9466 – Fax

                                E-mail:  mquinn@msquinnlaw.com

Originally posted on 08/20/2015 @ 4:45 pm

Michael Sean Quinn, PhD, JD, CPCU, Etc

Michael Sean Quinn, PhD, JD, CPCU, Etc. (530)

One of Texas's leading insurance scholars, Michael Sean Quinn is a past chair of the Insurance Section of the State Bar of Texas and has a broad legal practice.

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