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Ex-judge: relationship with prosecutor didn’t affect verdict

November 16, 2021 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former Oklahoma County judge says his “sexual conduct” with a prosecutor did not influence his rulings in a murder case that went to jury trial earlier this year.

Former Oklahoma County Judge Timothy Henderson presided over a case on Feb. 2 where jurors convicted Robert Leon Hashagen III of first-degree murder. He is now seeking a new trial because of the sexual allegations, according to The Oklahoman.

“The integrity of the judiciary ... is very much in question here,” Hashagen’s attorney, James Lockard, argued at an evidentiary hearing Monday. “We can’t have faith that the verdict is a fair one.”

The married judge resigned in March after three female attorneys came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against him. One of the three attorneys was a prosecutor in the Hashagen case. She said the judge began sexually abusing her in April 2016 and continued until July or August of 2018.

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Henderson described the sexual involvement as consensual and said he maintained his role “as a neutral and detached judicial officer” at all times during the Hashagen case.

“My rulings were fair and supported by the evidence and facts presented by the attorneys,” he said.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals in October ordered the evidentiary hearing and will rule on the new trial request after getting a report.