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Trials & Litigation

Couple sues indicted judge in state and federal court

Posted Oct 1, 2013 4:20 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A West Virginia judge who was previously indicted on accusations that he tried to prosecute his secretary's husband for fictitious crimes is now facing new troubles.

Kim and Robert Woodruff sued Mingo Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury on Monday in state and federal court, respectively, the Charleston Daily Mail reports. Other county officials are also named as defendants in the suits, which closely track the allegations made in the criminal case against Thornsbury.

A lawyer representing Kim Woodruff in her Kanawha Circuit Court suit says she never had an affair with the judge but was pressured into what the indictment refers to as "intimate physical contact" by threats to her employment.

"Was there forced hugging? Was there forced kissing? Yes, quite conceivably," said attorney Richard Neely, who formerly served as chief justice of the state supreme court. "But was there a sexual relationship or an affair? Absolutely not."

See also:

ABAJournal.com: "Judge indicted; feds say he tried to frame romantic rival for fake crimes"

ABAJournal.com: "Judge to take plea in case linked to slain sheriff, US Attorney says; removal of prosecutor sought"

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