Family Court judge suspended with pay over group sex and other claims


A female Family Court judge raking in a whopping $A200,000 a year has been suspended – with pay – after being hit with shocking sexual misconduct allegations.

The stunning claims involve Dawn Gentry, a 38-year-old Republican Family Court judge from Kenton County in Kentucky in the US, who was elected to the high-profile, four-year position in November 2018.

She is now being investigated by the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission – the only body that is able to penalise a sitting judge.

It has been alleged she let staffers drink at work and drank alcohol herself on the job, had threesomes inside court offices and gave preferential treatment to lawyers who had sex with her.

She is also accused of promoting people who donated to her re-election campaign – and punishing those who did not.

Judge Gentry, who was charged with nine ethics violations in early December, has denied all accusations against her.

She was temporarily suspended with pay on Monday this week as the investigation into her conduct continues to unfold, but she will continue to receive her salary in the meantime.

In legal documents seen by news.com.au, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission ruled “it will be in the best interest of justice that Judge Gentry be suspended temporarily from acting in her official capacity as a judge and from the performance of her duties, without affecting her pay status, until final adjudication of the pending formal proceedings”.

“During her suspension, Judge Gentry shall refrain from performing the duties of her office, shall not access or use court resources, and shall not appear at the Kenton County Courthouse,” the documents state.

Among the slew of claims against Judge Gentry is that she pushed another worker to quit their job to make room for Stephen Penrose, an ex-pastor she was in a sexual relationship with and who she later hired.

She is also charged with having group sex with secretary Laura Aubrey and Penrose while in a courthouse office during work hours.

In a Notice of Formal Proceedings and Charges released in December, it was claimed the many allegations against the judge “demonstrate a pattern of misconduct in office”.

The legal document states the judge is also accused of allowing her lover Mr Penrose to “spend work hours” singing and playing the guitar and “disrupting other court employees”, letting staff consume alcohol on the job and drinking alcohol herself at times, and bringing her children to work with her and allowing them to witness a “confidential proceeding” that violated the confidentiality of proceedings in a family court case.

It also details “inappropriate and unwanted sexual advances” towards employee Katherine Schulz, including Snapchat conversations that were “sexual in nature” and claims the judge hired Mr Penrose because of their “personal sexual relationship” and “not on the basis of merit”.

She is also accused of falsifying timesheets, punishing lawyers who didn’t support her election by delaying hearings or dismissing them and forcing others to help out with her campaign.

(Source)


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