WYNNE, Ark. (AP) — A one-page Arkansas court docket says Richard Milliman was pulled over in 2014 for expired tags and sentenced to community service, which he completed about three months later.
Milliman, however, says it’s all a lie perpetrated by a former district judge accused of sexually preying on him and dozens of other male defendants.
Of the 254 men Judge Joseph Boeckmann sentenced to community service over a seven-year period in one of three districts he oversaw, just 13 of the cases include timesheets and court records showing completion of the sentences, according to a review of documents by The Associated Press.
Several defendants — including Milliman, who was sentenced in another district — say they never served traditional community service because the judge offered them “alternative” sentences. Some alleged Boeckmann took photos as they bent over to pick up cans in his backyard. Others said he paid them to pose nude or spanked them with a paddle and took pictures of the red skin.
The judge resigned in May following a commission’s investigation that found more than 4,600 photos of nude or partially clothed men on computers belonging to the judge and financial records that showed he paid thousands of dollars from his business accounts to several defendants who appeared in his court. Boeckmann, who has denied the allegations, declined to comment Wednesday through his attorney Jeff Rosenzweig.
The AP requested all records related to the assignment and completion of community service kept by the Wynne, Cherry Valley and Parkin police departments, the Cross County Sheriff’s Office and the Wynne, Parkin and Cherry Valley district court offices.
No records existed at the police departments or the sheriff’s office. The Parkin and Cherry Valley district courts only kept the sparse docket sheets created by the judge, so only the Wynne branch provided extensive records — albeit only 13 showing completed community service.
Cross County Sheriff J.R. Smith said there was no written policy for community service at his office, but the court would give the defendants a timesheet that they would take to the law enforcement department or other agency they were assigned. Those sheets would be signed by the supervising agency and used to track the defendants’ hours until they had worked off their fines. The sheets would then be sent with them to the court to prove they had completed community service, but copies were not kept by the law enforcement agencies or, most of the time, submitted to court clerks.
Without those documents, there is no record of how many hours and with whom defendants performed community service, raising questions of whether there were more victims than the 35 previously identified by the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. The commission determines whether judges have violated the code of judicial ethics or have been disabled to the point they can no longer serve on the bench.
David Sachar, the executive director of the commission, said he turned over portions of the files to federal investigators, but no criminal charges have been filed. Sachar also said he believed more victims would have been found if the investigation had continued.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Milliman said Boeckmann initially ordered him to do community service but asked him to stay after court to clarify it would be with a charity of the judge’s choosing. He was told to gather two bags of aluminum cans and told to report to what he found out later was the judge’s home.
Milliman said that during a nearly 45-minute encounter at the home, Boeckmann offered him several drinks, which he declined. The judge took his photo picking up cans in the backyard, telling him to bend over and to spread his legs further. The judge asked to see and take photos of Milliman’s tattoos, but the man declined.
Milliman said Boeckmann offered him $300 if he would pose as Michelangelo’s statue of David as part of a bet the judge had with some friends. Milliman again declined and started looking for an escape route, he said.
“This has changed my life,” said Milliman, who said he has moved to a different city and changed cars since the incident. “I mean, as a guy, you don’t have to go through that stuff. You don’t have to think of things with that fear… I thought, ‘Who is going to believe me, a 22-year-old, over a judge, a public official who has been in power for this long?'”
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