P.G. County judge reprimanded after misdemeanor sex charges

August 20, 1998|By Todd Richissin | Todd Richissin,SUN STAFF

A prominent Prince George's County circuit judge who had sexual contact with an undercover policeman in an Annapolis Mall bathroom was reprimanded yesterday by a state commission but will face no other sanctions.

Judge Larnzell Martin Jr. could have lost his job over the charges against him.

He was charged in January with indecent exposure, a fourth-degree sexual offense and second-degree assault after the encounter with the officer. The legal charges were put on a "stet" docket for one year -- meaning that if he has no other legal troubles, the charges will be dropped.

Maryland's Commission on Judicial Disabilities took essentially the same path in its discipline yesterday. Aside from the public reprimand, the commission will take no further steps against Martin if the actions that got him into trouble are not repeated.

The commission does not comment publicly on its decisions. But in its seven-page reprimand, the commission said that Martin has admitted to his actions, has taken responsibility for them and has acknowledged that they take on added significance because of his status as a judge.

Martin was the chief of the court's family division when he was arrested. He was removed from the courtroom after the incident and has been doing administrative work.

The administrative judge for the 7th Judicial Circuit, William D. Missouri, said Martin would remain out of the courtroom until his case was removed from the stet docket. That typically occurs one year after it is placed on the docket, but prosecutors or defense attorneys could ask a judge to remove the case from the docket at any time.

Martin was vacationing yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

Police said they had undercover officers at the mall restroom because of complaints from customers. Martin acknowledged to the commission that he had inappropriate physical contact with the officer after the officer made gestures that he was interested in a sexual encounter.

Pub Date: 8/20/98

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