New Criminal Charges Reopens U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Kent Investigation

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.

U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent will be arraigned this morning on the new charges. He was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on new charges of sexually abusing another court employee and lying about it to prominent federal judges who investigated a misconduct complaint against him. His trial on the prior allegations was scheduled for January 26th before U.S. Senior Judge Roger Vinson, of Florida.

Kent is accused of sexually abusing his former case manager, Cathy McBroom. In 2007, McBroom filed a formal judicial misconduct complaint with the 5th Circuit judicial council alleging that the judge physically touched her under her clothing twice and often made obscene suggestions during the six years she worked for him.