U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice today and retired from the bench. In exchange, the prosecution will drop sexual assault charges. He will also avoid impeachment with the plea, though the status of his pension remains unclear.
Kent, 59, quietly pleaded guilty in open court. He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. He is likely to receive only a few years in jail under the obstruction charge. That will make his pension a likely point of contention.
With the new women coming forward with sexual assault claims, Kent was looking as a bruising trial with a significant chance of conviction. If convicted on the full mix of charges, he would likely have faced decades in jail.
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