Judges Conviction for Self Abuse During Trial Is Upheld

    Judge Billingsley denies that this weird story is about him!

   My wife Gwen interrupted me this morning when I was watching the Boss and the E Street Band on the Today show, and laughingly read a news story about a Judge that had been convicted of a lewd act with an electronic device while conducting a trial.  She pointedly compared the similarities between this judge and yours truly.

My parents were from Oklahoma (like Judge Thompson) and we each served 23 years on the bench …(mere coincidence!).

   Just in case there is any confusion I want to publically state that I never, never, no matter what the level or boredom or provocation ever used any device to distract myself during a trial, other than a computer, and that was only to check out the sports scores or to look up a case.

   As a former legislator and a former judge, I just cannot fathom any other explanation why Judge Thompson, also a former legislator and judge, would crack up like he did. (Judges Schmadeke was also a former legislator and a judge, and no one is questioning him!)

   This case demonstrates an example where the antics of the trial lawyers must have pushed the judge over the edge. It just has to be something like that.  Was it a pointless and lengthy cross-examination where the attorney repeats every question for the witness that was just asked on direct examination?  That can drive a judge crazy.  Was it a situation where the plaintiff has failed to submit written instructions so that the trial judge has to stop everything and write the instructions?  That can put a judge over the edge. Was it a lawyer who has to review his notes before asking every question, and then pauses to write down every response of the witness?  It must have been something like that. 

 September 28, 2007

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An appeals court upheld the conviction of a former judge who was convicted of exposing himself by using a sexual device while presiding over trials.

Former District Judge Donald Thompson was sentenced in August 2006 to four years in prison on four counts of indecent exposure.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that ”sufficient chain of custody was established for admission of a penis pump” the judge had been accused of using behind the bench.

”It’s not surprising that the Court of Appeals follows the ruling of the trial court, especially in a high-profile case like this,” said Clark Brewster, Thompson’s attorney.

He said the pump was severely damaged and should not have been allowed to be demonstrated in court ”as if it did work.”

The appeals court said evidence showed the device was in working order.

Thompson had spent almost 23 years on the bench and had served as a state legislator before retiring from the court in 2004.

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