Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Former Mobile County Judge is facing trial for over 80 charges including sodomy and kidnapping

Former Mobile County circuit judge Herman Thomas faces over 80 different charges from a Mobile County grand jury including kidnapping and sodomy. Thomas, 48, was a rising star in Alabama politics with an enviable track record at the polls: a black Democrat who kept getting elected in a county overwhelmingly white and increasingly Republican. He seemed to have it all. Respect as a circuit judge and at one time the Democratic Party's choice to be the first black federal judge in south Alabama. Then his career on the bench collapsed  first under allegations that he was bringing inmates into his office and spanking them with a paddle, then with an indictment that accuses him of having sex with male inmates in exchange for leniency. The trial on charges of sodomy, kidnapping, sex abuse, extortion, assault and ethics violations that involved oral and anal sex, as well as the spankings started this week.

About 15 former and current inmates have told prosecution that they had oral and/or anal sex with the judge for reduced charges. The reports of inmates having to pull down their underwear for spankings with a wooden paddle.  Also Mobile County jail and state prison records checkout reaffirm that the inmates were in the judge's custody or at his office along with the evidence of an inmate's semen in the judge's office carpet.  The inmates also were able to describe in detail Thomas' unmarked windowless office, and other inmates spotted marks after paddlings on the inmates.

Thomas, a judge well known for his distant bow ties, stepped down from the bench in late 2007 after the paddling allegations surfaced.  Chief Assistant District Attorney Nicki Patterson said authorities began looking at Thomas after he changed a jail sentence in 2006 for his cousin, former Mobile County school commissioner David Thomas, even though the case was being handled by another judge. Other cases that Thomas had taken over from other judges without their approval soon surfaced, she said.

The Alabama Bar Association began to investigate him on the grounds of judicial ethics, and later suspended his license.  Friends of Thomas including his attorney have refuted the allegations about sexual liaisons between Thomas and male plaintiffs for reduced sentences.

''A big bunch of bullsh*t that ain't going nowhere... Isn't it amazing to you they're all saying the same thing, Isn't it amazing? You know, these are uneducated people using words like 'confidential information' and so on.''
Robert "Cowboy Bob" Clark, defense attorney for Alabama Judge Herman Thomas
 Whereas others were more dumbfound and shocked by the charges:
''Everyone thought he had a lot of concern for people who got into criminal difficulty. All of this was a surprise to everyone.''
Braxton Kittrell, a retired Mobile County Circuit Judge, who remains dumbfounded along with most people who knew Judge Herman Thomas
The Mobile chapter of the NAACP has defended Thomas and claims race is behind his prosecution.  Many including his attorney calls it a "a high-tech lynching" by some in power in Mobile.

"They don't like uppity black folks, and that's what they consider Herman." Robert "Cowboy Bob" Clark, defense attorney for Alabama Judge Herman Thomas
However, all the inmates making the claims are black. 

Thomas grew up in Mobile and returned home after law school at Florida State University to become an assistant district attorney.  At the time, the majority white county had no black judges, and local officials were concerned that a federal judge might end countywide elections for judges. Local Democrats and lawyers recruited Thomas because he had a reputation as a young, bright lawyer and was widely respected for his civic activities.  They got a Republican governor to appoint him to a vacancy in 1990 and he later won election to a full term.  In 1997, Alabama's presidential advisory committee recommended President Bill Clinton appoint Thomas as the first black federal judge in the southern district of Alabama. The nomination was never acted on after Thomas failed to get the American Bar Association's top rating and amid some squabbling within the party.

Thomas still enjoys support in Mobile. He and his wife Linda are frequently seen in public, and he continues to keep a high profile, including maintaining leadership roles in several civic organizations.
Edington said Thomas was particularly proud when he got to see his teenage twin daughters march in President Barack Obama's inaugural parade as members of Mobile's Azalea Trail Maids.

WOW, WOW, WOW!  Now, this is some crazy sh*t!  He is just as freaky as hell, and he had the audacity to still parade around town with his wife and daughters like it's alright.  SMDH

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