New criminal charges against U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent has prompted the 5th Circuit judicial council to reopen its judicial misconduct investigation against the Houston judge.
Kent had already been indicted in August for sexually abusing a federal court employee. A new indictment issued Jan. 6 added three additional charges to his case, including allegations of sexual abuse by a second courthouse employee and an obstruction-of-justice charge.
In its order, the judicial council said it will pursue its investigation once Kent's upcoming criminal trial concludes, regardless of the trial's outcome.
Kent's trial stemming from the original charges was to begin on Jan. 26, but presidng judge U.S. Senior Judge Roger Vinson of Pensacola, Fla., reset the trial date to Feb. 23.