On Friday, August 11, 2023, News9 reported that a fresh complaint surfaced against a former Oklahoma County judge who has been mired in a storm of accusations involving sexual misconduct. The Oklahoma Bar Association has taken the unprecedented step of filing this complaint against former Oklahoma County District Judge Tim Henderson.
Within the legal documentation meticulously assembled by the Oklahoma Bar Association, the grave assertion resonates that Judge Henderson’s actions have not only shaken the very core of ethical decorum but have also unequivocally crossed into the realm of professional misconduct. In doing so, he stands accused of transgressing numerous judicial norms that inherently demand strict adherence.
Judge Henderson’s narrative commenced its unfolding back in 2012 when he commenced his judicial odyssey in the role of an Oklahoma County judge. This journey, however, witnessed an abrupt halt in 2021, as the resonating clangor of three female attorneys’ allegations of sexual misconduct culminated in his resignation. The fallout from these allegations cascaded into a convoluted maze of legal uncertainties, with hundreds of cases presided over by Henderson suddenly cast under a shadow of skepticism. Presently, two of these cases have already undergone the tumultuous process of being overturned, adding to the already labyrinthine tale.
The reverberations of this tumultuous situation are underscored by the recent overturning of convicted murderer Robert Hashagen’s sentence. In an astonishing turn of events, Hashagen’s legal team vehemently argued that the trial was irreparably marred by the seemingly questionable relationship between Judge Henderson and the Assistant District Attorney involved in the case. This startling revelation triggered a chain reaction that led to the annulment of Hashagen’s murder sentence, thrusting the case into the public eye.
In the wake of this ongoing maelstrom, the Oklahoma Bar Association has levied a powerful demand for disciplinary action against Judge Henderson.
Irven Box, News9’s Legal Analyst, shared his insights on the implications of the situation for Henderson. Box stated that the court’s finding of deceitful, dishonest, and unfair behavior by Henderson will likely have significant consequences for the state. He emphasized that the fact that a district attorney and a judge were allegedly involved in inappropriate relationships with litigants before they appeared in court undermines the integrity of the legal profession and is detrimental to public trust in the justice system.
Amidst the contentious backdrop, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) diligently undertook an exhaustive probe into the allegations against Judge Henderson. Yet, despite the efforts invested, no formal charges were ultimately brought to bear upon him.