|Joe Boeckmann is the judge for the Cross County District Court in Arkansas. KARK 4 News|
An Arkansas judge accused of swapping sex for reduced sentences resigned Monday after a state commission said it discovered thousands of photographs from his computer that depicted nude male defendants.
In a letter to the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, Cross County District Judge Joseph Boeckmann said that his resignation was effective immediately, and that he would never again seek a job as a local, county or state employee.
Boeckmann's resignation came after the commission said in a May 5 letter to his lawyer that it was in the process of recovering as many as 4,500 photos.
"They all depict young men, many naked who are in various poses inside the judge's home and outside in his yard," the letter states, adding that many of the men had received checks from the judge and had appeared before him as defendants.
"There are numerous photos of naked young men bending over after an apparent paddling," the letter reads. "Please accept this as notice to not destroy [or] otherwise dispose of this paddle."
In documents filed earlier this year, the commission detailed the allegations of several men — including one under 18 — who described appearing in Boeckmann's court for minor violations. The judge would often give defendants his hand-written phone number and have them serve what he described as "community service" at his home.
In one case, a man described having a "sexual relationship" with the judge while he paid off fines that for which Boeckmann granted him extensions.
In another case, Boeckmann reduced a misdemeanor traffic violation and asked the defendant, identified in court documents as W.M., to bring three bags of cans to his home. After the judge offered him a drink — which he declined — "Boeckmann informed W.M. that he needed W.M. to pull 2 cans from the bags and bend over as if he were picking up the cans."
The judge then instructed him "on how to pose and spread his legs farther apart," the document states.
In documents filed in February, Boeckmann denied the allegations — saying that the photographs were used "to corroborate participation in community service."