Ex-Oklahoma judge won’t be charged with sexual misconduct

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A special prosecutor said he won’t bring charges against a former Oklahoma judge accused of sexual misconduct with several women, including two prosecutors who practiced in his court.

District Attorney Jason Hicks confirmed last week there wasn’t enough evidence to support criminal charges against former Oklahoma County Judge Tim Henderson, 63, The Oklahoman newspaper reported. Henderson abruptly resigned last year after being accused of sexual misconduct.

“In this investigation, it is crystal clear that Henderson preyed on young women whom he believed would respond in his favor,” Hicks said in a statement to the newspaper. “His actions generally started with emails, text messages, and an acknowledgment that he was willing and could help them with their careers.

“It is obvious that he violated the trust of the public, and our profession, and as such should never be allowed to practice law again.”

The married judge later acknowledged having a sexual relationship with two prosecutors, but insisted both were consensual. At least five women came forward during the investigation, including a sheriff’s deputy.

Hicks was named a special prosecutor in May 2021 after Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater disqualified his office.

Henderson was in good spirits after learning of the decision, his attorney, Tracy Schumacher, told the newspaper.

“This was a very expensive investigation for taxpayers that should have been conducted by the Oklahoma Bar Association,” she added.

It’s not clear how many criminal cases presided over by Henderson could be affected by the scandal. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals last month granted a new trial in a drug trafficking case, and a decision is expected soon in a murder case.

Henderson has presided over a number of high-profile criminal trials in recent years, including that of ex-Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who Henderson sentenced to life in prison in 2016 after he was convicted of raping and sexually victimizing women while on his beat in Oklahoma City.