SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Superior Court Judge Benjamin Diaz was fined $265 and placed on three years probation for soliciting a prostitute, which he says he did 'for laughs.'
Lawyers for Diaz, 51, entered the 'no contest' plea Wednesday before visiting Municipal Court Judge George Tyler of Siskiyou County.
Diaz, a judge since 1976, remained in his own courtroom to attend to his regular calendar.
Besides the fine and informal probation, Diaz was told to stay away from two downtown areas where prostitutes congregate, not to pick up hitchhikers and not to rent motel rooms under an assumed name.
The judge was cited Nov. 2 for soliciting a prostitute and engaging in a lewd act in public. A police report said a 32-year-old woman identified as Kasandra Daniels was seen getting into a car driven by Diaz, who had been drinking with friends in a downtown bar.
Daniels was arrested and released on $2,000 bail. Diaz was cited and released on his promise to appear at his arraignment.
Diaz explained after the incident: 'I ran into a lady who I knew was a hooker. I just was curious and thought it would be for laughs. I want to apologize for the embarrassment I caused my friends.'
A police officer said that upon following the couple into a nearby alley he saw the two perform a sex act.