Moral Low Ground

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New Mexico Judge Pat Murdoch Arrested for Videotaped Rape of Prostitute

A top New Mexico criminal judge was arrested and charged with raping a prostitute.

According to the New York Times, State District Judge Pat Murdoch, the chief criminal judge in Albuquerque, was charged with criminal sexual penetration and intimidation of a witness.

The  23-year-old victim told police that Judge Murdoch had been a repeat client; he paid her about $200 each of the eight times they met. But during one session he allegedly raped her, and the next time they met she made a secret video recording of him forcing himself upon her.

Soon after making the video, she began worrying about her safety. She’d asked Murdoch what he would do if a woman made allegations against him and he said he would use his police and other connections to deal with her.

Hearing about the rapes from an informant, a detective then helped an investigator purchase the video of the rape for $400.

Judge Murdoch is described by the Times as “a well-respected member of the judicial community.” Police say he is cooperating with investigators, who describe him as “polite and respectful.”

The timing of his arrest, however, couldn’t be worse. Just days ago, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez issued a plea for  judges and lawyers to take action to boost confidence in the state’s legal system.

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