Federal Judge Retires As 'Bad Lapse In Judgment' With 16-Year-Old Surfaces
The chief judge of the federal district court in Washington, D.C., notified the White House he would retire this week, the same day a Utah woman filed a lawsuit accusing him of assault and predatory sexual behavior 35 years ago, when he was a civil rights prosecutor and she was a 16-year-old eyewitness in a murder case.
U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts acknowledged in a statement that he had an intimate relationship with the woman and that it was a "bad lapse in judgment." But his lawyers called their relationship "entirely consensual" and asserted it began after, not during, the trial. Attorneys for Roberts, 63, said he would fight the woman's lawsuit, even as he stepped down Wednesday from his lifetime appointment as a judge because of an unspecified medical disability.