LITTLE ROCK — A former Cross County district judge accused of dismissing charges or giving light sentences in exchange for opportunities to photograph male defendants nude and sexual favors was released from government custody Tuesday.
Joseph Boeckmann, 70, of Wynne had been in custody since his Oct. 18 arrest on eight counts of wire fraud and honest services wire fraud, one count of bribery involving federal programs, 10 counts of violating the federal Travel Act in connection with a bribery scheme and two counts of witness tampering. The latter charges are related to alleged attempts by Boeckmann to persuade two witnesses to lie to a grand jury that was investigating him.
U.S. Magistrate Joe Volpe ruled Oct. 19 that Boeckmann would remain in custody until his trial unless the defense could offer appropriate placement in a location a significant distance from Cross County. Lawyers for Boeckmann asked Volpe to release Boeckmann to the custody of a sister and brother-in-law who live in Garland County.
The government objected, arguing that there is a risk Boeckmann could seek to tamper with witnesses, but on Tuesday Volpe granted the motion by Boeckmann’s lawyers.