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Former Arkansas judge arrested, accused of soliciting from defendant's girlfriend

by Daniel McFadin | January 5, 2023 at 6:31 p.m.

A former Monroe County district court judge was arrested Thursday in Little Rock, and authorities accused him of soliciting sex in exchange for taking action on a criminal case pending before his court.

Thomas David Carruth, 63, of Clarendon is accused of soliciting sex from the girlfriend of a defendant in April in exchange for speeding up that defendant’s trial date, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.

Carruth is also accused of lying to FBI agents when questioned about the incident, the release says.

According to the release, Carruth was charged in an indictment with three counts reach of honest services wire fraud and using a facility in interstate commerce in furtherance of unlawful activity, one count of bribery, one count of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice.

If convicted on the top counts, Carruth faces up to 20 years in prison, the release says.

In a news release acknowledging the arrest, the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission said Carruth's home was raided by the FBI in June and that he resigned from his part-time judicial position in August in order to run for another local public office.

The commission said it is investigating two complaints that were filed against Carruth, adding that it had received complaints on "the same subject matter when federal authorities began their probe of Carruth's alleged conduct."

The complaints remain pending before a commission investigation panel, and the commission said it will continue cooperating with the FBI investigation.

Contact by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette by phone on Thursday evening, Carruth said only, "On the advice of counsel, no comment."

According to KARK-TV in Little Rock, Carruth had said shortly after the August raid on his home that he was the subject of a blackmail attempt. Carruth said then that a woman “made a false accusation against me” and that she’d “do anything” to get her boyfriend, the defendant, out of jail.

Carruth said he immediately notified the Arkansas State Police and the FBI about what he described as a blackmail attempt against him, the TV news outlet reported.

“I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do,” Carruth told KARK. “When someone tried getting me to do something, I contacted authorities.”

The FBI's Little Rock field office is investigating the case with the assistance of the Arkansas State Police, the Justice Department release says.


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