Retired State Supreme Court Justice Ronald H. Tills, 74, has been sentenced today to 18 months in prison for transporting prostitutes across state lines. Tills reportedly was arrested as part of a probe into the weekends jaunts of the Royal Order of Jesters. Other “jesters” sentenced with Tills were John Trowbridge, 62, a former Lockport Police captain, and Michael Stebick, 61, Tills’ former law clerk.
U.S District Judge William M. Skretny referred to the name of one of the women name Coco, an documented immigrant, who appeared before Tills and was later recruited by him as a prostitute. Judge Skretny observed “Coco is a real victim in this case, and regretably, she’s not the only one.”
Tills responded with contrition: “I will never forgive myself for the possible harm I’ve caused to the victims in this case. “I’m embarrassed, and I feel terrible about the shame I’ve brought to the bench and the bar.”
Tills admitted that he recruited prostitutes for Jesters weekend parties known as “books.” The national organization insists that this branch was an aberration. The Order of the Jesters is a division of the Freemasons and has 191 chapters with 22,000 members, mostly in the United States.
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