Judge acquitted in sex-for-leniency case

Oct. 27, 2009 at 12:34 PM

MOBILE, Ala., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- A Mobile, Ala., jury either acquitted or deadlocked on sex-related charges against a former county circuit judge in a sex-for-leniency scheme with young men.

The panel found former Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas not guilty on five counts of sex abuse and one count each of sodomy and assault, but told the court it could not reach unanimous decisions on 14 other charges, the Mobile Press-Register reported Tuesday.

After reading the jury's verdicts, Special Judge Claud Neilson ruled Thomas not guilty on the remaining charges, including sex abuse, attempted sodomy and assault. He cited a citing a lack of evidence.

Prosecutors argued that Thomas paddled or spanked 11 young men for sexual gratification and in exchange for leniency.

Mobile District Attorney John Tyson said he was "extremely disappointed" by the trial's outcome, the newspaper said.

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