Harris County Criminal Court-at-Law judge Donald W. Jackson, 59, has been indicted on a misdemeanor charge of official oppression – allegedly offering to get a DWI defendant help in dismissing her case in exchange for a sexual relationship. Notably, he allegedly insisted that he was not interested in “a one-night stand” in seeking to secure counsel for Ariana M. Venegas. If so, it is a new variation on past judicial pick-up lines that simply offer to trade sex for rulings.
Jackson has been a judge for 17 years.
Venegas, 27, was charged with driving while intoxicated and ended up in Jackson’s court.
Jackson is likely to be tried before a specially appointed judge and is likely to also answer questions before the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct. He could face a year in jail.
Jared Woodfill, chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, has also announced that the Republican party is likely to investigate the charges since Jackson is a Republican judge.
What is different from past judicial scandals is that Jackson is not accused of offering to dismiss the charges but rather to help Venegas secure a lawyer. Nevertheless, there is no question that such a contact and offer is highly improper on a ethical level for a litigant before the judge. His desire for a meaningful relationship would not materially improve the issue. He later recused himself.
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6 thoughts on “You Had Me At “Hello, Your Honor”: Houston Judge Indicted After Allegedly Offering to Help Woman in Exchange for a Sexual Relationship”
At the time this took place the girl had the body and looks of Eva Mendes, quite a beautiful woman. This wealthy codger was in a position of authority over the young lady and tried to use that to get her into bed. He asked her to approach the bench at her hearing and told her to meet him for drinks later where they could discuss her case. Romanticizing the story or feeling pity for the old man is disgusting. Maybe its easier to put in perspective if you imagine some 60 year old man trying to get your young daughter or sister into bed in return for dismissing her DUI charges.
Judge Raw Bean…
Ladies, ifin’ ya see an older man like that with a mustache like that, then run fer the hills.
Well if you are a male and get screwed by the system, you can really get screwed literally and figuratively if you find yourself in prison.
If I don’t get screwed you get screwed is the usual line.
How harsh a judgment we render against a man with obviously a romantic nature. Was he seeking to evade the law, or had he merely found what he thought to be his soul mate, the woman of his dreams? That he wanted sex was obvious, but as he explains it was to be in the context of a deeper, more heartfelt relationship. In this era of “one night stands” and people seeking merely instant gratification, are we too jaded to see a courtly old gentleman, who wanted “the real thing” along with his unabiding libido?
And what Defendant would not sell out the Attorney to get a lesser sentence? WOW is all I can say. Apparently the issue of impropriety is looming and the Judges Docket has been reassigned. I am glad I am not in his seat or unenviable position.
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