What is going on in New Mexico?

An Albuquerque judge accused of raping a woman will retire Friday and has agreed never to seek a judicial office in New Mexico under a disciplinary order issued Tuesday by the state Supreme Court.

District Judge Pat Murdoch was arrested last week on charges of rape and intimidation of a witness while serving as chief criminal judge in the 2nd Judicial District, which covers the Albuquerque area and is New Mexico’s biggest district court system.

The agreement to retire was reached between Murdoch and the state Judicial Standards Commission, which had started a disciplinary investigation of Murdoch.

Murdoch’s decision to retire ends further disciplinary proceedings by the commission and the Supreme Court, which makes the final decision on whether to reprimand, suspend or remove judges from the bench for misconduct.

When we first became aware of this article naturally our first impulse was w.t.f? How nice it must be to be the person who adjudicates the law and then breaks the law.

Murdoch has yet to enter a plea to the criminal charges but his lawyers say he is a victim in the case. The woman who has accused Murdoch of rape is an admitted prostitute and has said she met with him about eight times.

Murdoch’s lawyers are seeking dismissal of the criminal complaint and have said police are investigating whether the woman may have tried to extort the judge with a video of a sexual encounter.

 Now just breaking!    

Judge Albert “Pat” Murdoch was arrested on Tuesday for charges of criminal sexual penetration and intimidation of a witness. Murdoch presides over the criminal division for the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court and is a well known and respected judge who has been serving for 26 years.

If convicted, Murdoch could be sentenced to up to five years in prison. He was scheduled to be arraigned today.

One of his most high-profile cases was the 2010 Desert Divas case, regarding a prostitution ring. He ultimately suppressed the prostitution ring’s client list.

Murdoch has also made rulings in numerous prostitution and rape cases and Albuquerque Police Department Commander Doug West said there is a “good possibility” that the judge’s arrest “has the potential to put all the cases in jeopardy.”

The alleged victim in the charges against Murdoch is an Albuquerque woman who said Murdoch contacted her after seeing her advertisement for sexual services online.

She said she met with him and he took her to his home where she was paid $200 for sexual favors, according to court documents.

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