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Federal Judge Pleads ‘Absolutely, Unequivocally Not Guilty’

Posted Sep 3, 2008 12:33 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The courtroom scene was “highly unusual and very civilized” as a Texas federal judge proclaimed his innocence today in no uncertain terms on charges of abusive sexual contact and aggravated sexual abuse, the Houston Chronicle reports.

"I plead absolutely, unequivocally not guilty and look very much forward to a trial on the merits of what I consider flagrant, scurrilous charges," said U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent. "For the record, I absolutely intend to testify, and we are going to bring a horde of witnesses."

U.S. marshals in the Houston courtroom addressed Kent as “your honor,” and the officer overseeing Kent’s release put his hand on his shoulder, the story says. Kent was released on his own recognizance and took a private elevator back to his chambers in the same courthouse.

The charges are based on accusations by Kent’s former case assistant, Cathy McBroom, who says the judge made unwanted advances and touched her inappropriately.

Kent's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, told reporters that his client has passed a polygraph test and McBroom should also take one.

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