Federal judge had explicit images on web

June 13, 2008 6:44:48 PM PDT
A federal judge from San Francisco declared a mistrial in an obscenity case after it was revealed the judge himself had sexually explicit images on his own website. Alex Kozinski is the Chief Judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

There is a multi-page list of some of the stuff that appeared on Kozinski's web site, retrieved by tipsters using search engines. Kozinski says his website was used by him and his family and that he didn't pay much attention to what was on there.

Chief Justice Alex Kozinski has told reporters he was aware of some of the material on his web site, AlexKozinski.com which was maintained by his son, Yale, a film editor.

Among the images is a picture of naked women painted as cows and a slide-show striptease. The website has since been shutdown.

The pictures came to light while Kozinski was serving as a trial judge in the case of a man accused of distributing porno videos.

"A judge has to avoid all conflicts of interest and he has to avoid not only impropriety, but the appearance of impropriety," said ABC7's Legal Analyst Dean Johnson.

Kozinski declared a mistrial in the porno video case and has requested it be assigned to another judge.

He told the Mercury News, "I don't want to deny responsibility for it. It's my personal property. A lot of this is OK in private, but looks awful put into the public. Some of the things that were shown to me were not funny. I'm very sorry it happened."

Roger Myers is a San Francisco attorney who clerked for a different judge the 9th Circuit Court of appeals back in 1988.

"He's been a libertarian on First Amendment issues. He has a supporter of free speech, and this is in some ways an issue of free speech, although we don't know all the facts yet," said Myers, an attorney for Holme Roberts and Owen.

57-year-old Kozinski was appointed to the court in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan.

"I don't think there is any reason for him to step down either as Chief Judge of the 9th Circuit of as a judge on the Court of Appeals. Now that is based on what I have read. If the facts change, if it turns out he was posting come of these things himself, that might be different," said Myers.

The Judicial Council for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will determine whether Kozinski engaged in any misconduct. The material was discovered and leaked to reporters by another lawyer who has been feuding with Kozinski for some time.


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