A Pennsylvania judge is facing accusations he traded racy text messages and had sex with the girlfriend of a defendant in his drug and alcohol treatment court.
The state’s Judicial Conduct Board filed four administrative charges Tuesday against District Judge Michael Shaw of Sayre.
The complaint said the defendant discovered the “sext messages” between his girlfriend and Shaw and became upset, prompting an apology from the judge.
“I disrespected you,” he told the defendant while meeting with him and the woman in the jury room, the complaint said.
Shaw was removed as presiding judge of Bradford County’s treatment court after his relationship with the woman came to the attention of court officials in 2014.
Shaw and his lawyer did not immediately return phone messages Wednesday.
Shaw also traded sexually charged text messages with an adult probation officer, according to the complaint.
Conduct board lawyers outlined several other allegations of improper conduct, including Shaw’s practice of communicating outside of court with defendants and their relatives in violation of court rules.
He permitted “his social and community interests or relationships to influence his conduct or judgment”, the complaint said.
If convicted in the Court of Judicial Discipline, Shaw could be censured, suspended, fined or removed from office.
Shaw has been in office for more than two decades.