A disgraced federal judge was sentenced Monday to nearly three years in prison for lying to investigators about whether he sexually abused his secretary.
U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent was sentenced to 33 months Monday. He was also fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $6,550 in restitution to the two women whose complaints resulted in the first sex abuse case against a sitting federal judge.
Kent could have received up to 20 years in prison after admitting to obstruction of justice, but prosecutors said they wouldn't seek more than three years under a plea agreement.
"Your wrongful conduct is a huge black X ... a stain on the judicial system itself, a matter of concern in the federal courts," U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said as he imposed the sentence. Vinson is a visiting senior judge called in from Pensacola, Fla.
Kent pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in February as jury selection for his trial was about to begin. He had been charged with obstruction and five sex-crime counts alleging that he groped his secretary and his former case manager. Conviction on the most serious of those charges could have sent him to prison for life.