Investigators: Judge was high on pills, had sex in court
Investigators say a criminal court judge in Tennessee had a severe prescription drug addiction during his final two years on the bench.
Judge Richard Baumgartner presided over more than one-thousand cases from 2008 until late 2010.
But during courtroom breaks, he was reportedly buying pills from criminals he presided over, an investigation found. One woman had even alleged that Baumgartner had sex with her in his chambers.
Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols told HLN’s Dr. Drew Tuesday night that, to date, there have been seven cases where the motion for a new trial has been granted as result of Baumgartner’s alleged conduct.
“We expect that we’ll get upwards of 100 petitions in the near future for new trials,” he said.
Baumgartner pleaded guilty to the felony official misconduct charge last year after a TBI investigation stated he had purchased pills from a probationer in his court.
During his sentencing, he said on camera, "I take absolute and full responsibility for my conduct. I am soley at fault for what I have done and I accept that."
He was sentenced to two years suspended and given judicial diversion.
Dr. Drew explained how he had personal experiences treating “sick” judges who went right back to the bench, noting how he could do nothing about it due to HIPAA laws.
"There’s no system in place for those of us [in the medical community], who know they are potentially impaired, to do anything about it,” he said.
In the video clip above, Dr. Drew and his guests take a closer look at the power and consequences of prescription drug addiction.
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