Federal Judge Samuel Kent Indicted for Sex Crimes

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent became the first federal judge in history to be indicted for sex crimes, specifically abusive sexual contact and attempted aggravated sexual abuse of case manager Cathy McBroom. This ignoble moment will likely be followed by impeachment in Congress, though traditionally the House will wait for the conclusion of the criminal prosecution.

McBroom says that Kent touched her under her clothing twice and often made obscene statements to her over the course of six years. McBroom said that the most serious attack occurred in a little-used exercise room at the Galveston courthouse in August 2003. In March 2007, she alleged that Kent physically touched her under her clothing, put his mouth on her breast and made obscene comments to her in his chambers. He is also accused of attempted aggravated sexual abuse related to his alleged attempt during the March 2007 incident to force McBroom’s mouth toward his groin.

The indictment charges that he made the contact “with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass (and) degrade.”

McBroom issued a statement: “After a very difficult 17 months, I feel like I have finally been validated. I have listened and read with horror as Judge Kent’s lawyer suggested that what happened to me was ‘enthusiastically consensual.’ I am relieved to find that even federal judges are not above the law, and that sexual abuse in the workplace is never acceptable, no matter the status of the offender.”

McBroom alleged that when she immediately reported the incident to her supervisor, who did nothing.

Kent has been reprimanded by the 5th Circuit over the incidents. He is now only the sixth judge in the last 30 years to be charged with a federal crime — the last being the bribery indictment (and later conviction) of U.S. District Judge Robert Collins of Louisiana in 1993.

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6 thoughts on “Federal Judge Samuel Kent Indicted for Sex Crimes”

  1. It would be interesting to investigate his relationship with his first wife, Mary Ann, and the specifics of her death. I was best friends with her in junior high, high school and college and must say Sam’s life could be best selling biography material. Any investigative journalists out there?

  2. “Mike” said –

    “Really, is that what thoughtful people do – find a way to turn an isolated sexual assault case into an indictment against the Right?”


  3. Huh? What does one judge’s misconduct have to do with the Right’s “family values” position?

    Must everything become political these days? Really, is that what thoughtful people do – find a way to turn an isolated sexual assault case into an indictment against the Right?

    There are much broader issues in the Kent case. None have anything to do with party politics.

    For example, the Fifth Circuit knew about Kent’s alleged misconduct. What did the Fifth Circuit do? Practically nothing: They issued a reprimand, and kept the details of the allegations against him confidential.

    Oh, for the party hacks: The Fifth Circuit has Democrat and Republican judges. So if you want to be thoughtless, the people on both sides of the aisle can say, “This proves that Dems/Repubs are bad!”

    Or you could put partisanship aside for a second, do some actual thinking, and ask whether there’s a problem with judicial discipline when people like Judge Kent avoid meaningful punishment for allegedly seriously criminal acts.

  4. All the evidence is yet to be heard of course, but if proven valid, it once again gives lie to the Family Values meme put forth by the Right Wing. This is not to say that Liberals can’t be boors and abusers, many are, but they don’t generally run on a program of righteousness and Godliness.

  5. He was nominated by George H.W. Bush on August 3, 1990, to a seat vacated by Hugh Gibson, confirmed by the Senate on September 28, 1990. However, President Carter appointed U.S. District Judge Robert Collins.


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