Legal Ethics

Ex-Prosecutor Indicted in Sex-for-Leniency Case, Charged with Official Misconduct


A former longtime Tennessee prosecutor has been criminally indicted on a felony charge of official misconduct, after being accused of flirting with female defendants and stating or implying that they would be treated more leniently if they had sex with him.

However, Doug Godbee, 57, who formerly served as a Hawkins County prosecutor, is accused of actually having sex with only some of the nine alleged victims, reports the Kingsport Times-News.

Hence, the strongest case that could be made against him was to allege a pattern of such behavior amounting to official misconduct, explains Russell Johnson, a special prosecutor who is overseeing the case.

“There’s no other charge that fits,” he tells the newspaper. “There’s no statute that says it’s against the law to have sex with a defendant except for official misconduct, so that’s what we had to go with.”

Attorney Paul Whetstone represents Godbee. He says his client, who has been released on $10,000 bond, “stands ready to face these allegations and to assist his counsel in preparing for them.”

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Five Women Seek Compensation for Prosecutor’s Alleged Sex-for-Leniency Requests”

ABAJournal.com: “No Criminal Charges for Ex-‘I Am the Prize’ DA Accused in Sext Case”

ABAJournal.com: “DA Faces 5 Misdemeanors re Alleged Misuse of Office to Get ‘Sexual Gratification’ & Claimed Cover-Up”

East Oregonian: “State adds dirt on Gushwa”

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