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Court suspends law license of former Tucson judge

A former Tucson city judge was suspended from practicing law for two years after an investigation showed he sexually harassed female lawyers.

The decision from the Arizona Supreme Court also means Ted Abrams is forbidden from ever working as a judge in Arizona.

Abrams served as a city judge from 2002 to his resignation in February.

The State Bar of Arizona says Abrams sexually harassed an assistant public defender who appeared in his court.

Abrams also had a sexual relationship with another attorney, a private defense lawyer who appeared in his court, and he sent sexually explicit e-mails to an assistant city prosecutor who appeared in his court.

Abrams’ lawyers asked the Supreme Court to reconsider and shorten the suspension of his Bar license.

“I made mistakes,” Abrams told The Arizona Republic. “I wish I had a time machine to go back and do things differently. Absent that, I can try to go forward.”

The State Bar says that Abrams over 14 months sent the assistant public defender at least 28 unwanted voice mails and at least 85 text messages — many containing sexual innuendos or sexual content — and that the judge had repeatedly pressured the attorney for sex.

She repeatedly told him she wasn’t interested in a sexual relationship with him and reminded him such an affair would be improper.

Abrams takes exception with the Bar’s description of him, saying he was an exemplary member of the Bar for two decades and that he was praised in evaluations of his judicial conduct and his performance as a part-time law professor at the University of Arizona, a position he also resigned.

“The Bar’s characterization of me being abusive is not a fair characterization of who I am and who I was as a judge,” Abrams said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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