Disgraced former judge wants sentence overturned

August 3, 2010 10:43:02 AM PDT
A former federal judge who is serving nearly three years in prison for lying about sexually assaulting two female court employees is trying to get his sentence overturned Attorneys for former judge Samuel Kent filed a motion in federal court Monday asking for re-sentencing. They argue that the Federal Bureau of Prisons ignored Kent's intended sentence and treated him as a sex offender even though he pleaded guilty to a non-sexual offense.

The federal prison system has denied Kent access to a substance abuse treatment program and computer skills classes, classified him as a sex offender and "wrongfully subjected Sam Kent to unusually cruel and abusive treatment including extended periods in solitary confinement," according to the motion.

Kent is serving his sentence in a prison run by the Florida Department of Corrections, according to the motion.

Federal prosecutors have not filed a response to Kent's motion. The U.S. Attorney's office didn't immediately respond to a message left by The Associated Press.

Kent's sentence began in June 2009 after his guilty plea for lying to federal investigators about sexually assaulting two female employees. That same month, he resigned from the bench following his impeachment by the House of Representatives. The Senate had begun gathering evidence for his impeachment trial.

By resigning, the former Galveston- and Houston-based judge forfeited his $174,000 annual salary and benefits.

As part of his plea bargain, Kent admitted trying to force his former case manager into unwanted sex acts in 2003 and 2007. He did the same with his secretary from 2004 through at least 2005.


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