Former Alabama Circuit Court Judge Herman Thomas, accused of a plethora of shocking sex- and ethics-related crimes, will be on the other side of the bench on Monday.
The once highly regarded jurist – and a deft Democratic politician repeatedly elected in an Alabama county that was predominantly White and Republican – Thomas is now a disgraced shell of his former self, accused of sodomy, kidnapping, sex abuse, extortion, assault and ethics violations, AOL News reports.
Inmates say that over the past decade Thomas has tried to trade courtroom leniency for sex, that he has forced them to strip down to their underwear and spanked them, and that he forced them to perform sex acts.
"Everyone thought he had a lot of concern for people who got into criminal difficulty. All of this was a surprise to everyone," retired Mobile County Circuit Judge Braxton Kittrell told AOL News.
Former Alabama Sen. and Mobile attorney Bob Edington said, "I've always had the highest regard for him. The allegations were a complete surprise to me and everyone else who knew him.”
But Thomas' defense attorney Robert Clark told AOL News that his client’s accusers are merely "lying felons." Clark must now convince the court that all 15 of the inmates preparing to testify against Thomas are liars.