Legal Ethics

Five Women Seek Compensation for Prosecutor’s Alleged Sex-for-Leniency Requests


Five women who say a Tennessee prosecutor offered them leniency in exchange for sexual favors are seeking compensation from a governmental commission.

The women claim former Hawkins County Assistant Attorney General Doug Godbee exploited his position of authority in making sexual requests, according to the Kingsport Times-News and KnoxNews.com. Four of the women were drug crime defendants and the other was a drug defendant’s mother.

They are seeking awards of between $150,000 and $300,000 from the Tennessee Claims Commission.

Nashville lawyer Robert Whitaker filed the complaints on behalf of the women. He is quoted in the Times-News article. “What each of these cases have in common is the belief on the part of these women that Mr. Godbee controlled their fate, and the fear that failing to comply with his sexual demands would result in more lengthy prison sentences,” Whitaker said.

A criminal investigation is also under way, the stories say. Godbee resigned in September after a female drug defendant said text and voice mail messages back up her claims that the prosecutor had requested sexual favors.

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