While Judge Pat Murdoch is probably no stranger to criminal law, it's still a role reversal now that he'll be appearing on the other side of the bench.
The New Mexico judge stands accused of rape of a prostitute. And one encounter was secretly taped, according to local news reports.
Judge Murdoch has now been charged with criminal sexual penetration and intimidation of a witness. He is the chief criminal judge in the 2nd Judicial District in Albuquerque.
The prostitute originally posted an ad on Backpage.com. Judge Murdoch contacted her, and he ended up paying around $200 in exchange for sex.
The prostitute says that the judge forced oral sex on her during this initial encounter. The prostitute then secretly taped the judge, the footage of which apparently contained a scene where he forced himself on her again, reports KOB-TV.
After making the secret tape, the prostitute then asked Judge Murdoch what he would do if anybody ever made allegations against him - to which he responded that he would take care of using his connections and the police, KOB-TV reports.
Undercover officers purchased the secret tape from the woman and her pimp for $400 after they received word of a tape involving a judge, reports KASA-TV.
While in custody, Judge Murdoch was kept away from other inmates for safety reasons, according to KASA-TV.
Under New Mexico law, intimidation of a witness is a third-degree felony. Intimidation of a witness occurs when the defendant threatens somebody who is likely to become a witness in an official proceeding.
If the allegations in the complaint are true, Judge Murdoch might well have committed intimidation of a witness. It seems possible that he might have known that the prostitute was referring to herself when she asked him about what he would do if anybody ever made allegations toward him - and his response, that he would use his status and connections, could likely be considered intimidation.
Whether or not his self-proclaimed "connections" help him now that he's facing criminal charges remains to be seen. For now, Judge Pat Murdoch, the New Mexico judge who allegedly raped a prostitute, was released on a $50,000 bond, reports KASA-TV. He is scheduled to make an appearance in court next week.
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