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Opinionated Federal Judge Sentenced to Almost Three Years In Prison

Former U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent was sentenced to 33 months in prison on Monday, after pleading guilty to one count of obstruction of justice. The plea bargain allowed him to avoid the five charges of sexual assault and harassment of court employees — settling the first-ever sex abuse case filed against a sitting federal judge.

Anyone who’s read the former Galveston, Texas judge’s legal opinions probably wasn’t all that surprised to learn that while a judge, he occasionally overstepped his bounds.

Take, for example, this commentary Judge Kent offered in the case of Labor Force, Inc. v. Jacintoport Corp. et al.:

Manifestly, any person with even a correspondence-course level understanding of federal practice and procedure would recognize that Defendant’s Motion is patently insipid, ludicrous and utterly and unequivocally without any merit whatsoever…. Defendant’s obnoxiously ancient, boilerplate, inane Motion is emphatically DENIED. Moreover, Defendant’s present counsel-of-record, Mr. [redacted] is determined to be disqualified for cause from this action for submitting this asinine tripe.

Or in Bradshaw v. Unity Marine Corp.:

Before proceeding further, the Court notes that this case involves two extremely likable lawyers, who have together delivered some of the most amateurish pleadings ever to cross the hallowed causeway into Galveston, an effort which leads the Court to surmise but one plausible explanation. Both attorneys have obviously entered into a secret pact – complete with hats, handshakes, and cryptic words – to draft their pleadings entirely in crayon on the back sides of gravy-stained paper place mats, in the hope that the Court would be so charmed by their child-like efforts that their utter dearth of legal authorities in their briefing would go unnoticed.

Although Kent did not admit it at his sentencing hearing, his attorney acknowledged that his client is an alcoholic.

After vehemently denying the sexual abuse charges against him for years, he apologized for his behavior Monday.

Judge Kent remained a federal judge even after his indictment for When he pled guilty in February, he announced that he would retire from the federal bench.

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