Thursday, April 12, 2007
A former part-time magistrate was reprimanded by the South Carolina Supreme Court for conduct involving a motorist who had been arrested and appeared before him for a bond hearing. He asked her "whether her bra straps were clear or whether the whole bra was clear." She alleged that he remarked on her physical traits and suggested that she show her navel to a police officer. An officer in the court corroborated these allegations. He also telephoned another magistrate on the motorist's behalf and met with her to help secure the return of her car. She contended that he engaged her in discussion of the case and "offered to have the charges dropped in exchange for sexual favors."
Reprimand is the most severe sanction that can be imposed when a South Carolina judge no longer is in office. The court also enjoined him from holding future office in the South Carolina unified judicial system. (Mike Frisch)