Top Judge Joked About Raping, Tasing Women
Hundreds of emails circulated between officials included sexist, racist, violent jokes and nude photos of women.
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice sent and received hundreds of emails containing racist, pornographic, and misogynistic material in correspondence with public officials.
Justice J. Michael Eakin used a private email account with the pseudonym “John Smith” to communicate with state and federal officials, including prosecutors, judges, and attorneys. One email from Eakin among many obtained by The Daily Beast suggests a battered wife treat her wounds by “keeping her mouth shut.”
An email Eakin received from defense attorney Terry McGowan links to a video titled “Craziest White Man,” which shows a man picking up Latino day-laborers, who he then takes to immigration services. Afterward, the man in the video comments on the need to “cull the herd, make sure they don’t overpopulate.”
Another email from Eakin contains a joke about a man using a Taser to rape a woman.
Other government employees sent similarly lurid or offensive messages to Eakin and others in the email chain. Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Baxter sent several emails mocking African Americans and President Obama.
Much of the correspondence was received by prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Harrisburg as well as by various county Common Pleas Court judges and district attorneys. It included a set of “motivational posters,” which feature a woman mock-fellating a beer bottle above the slogan, “True Love: Sometimes you know it the instant you see it across the bar” and one of a topless woman which reads: “Dear Abby: I’m an 18 year old girl from Arkansas and I’m still a virgin. Do you think my brothers are gay?”
McGowan, Eakin, and Baxter also shared jokes at the expense of Muslims, black students, and women. Several pictures depict women as animals: one with deer antlers, one naked and on all-fours, costumed like a pig (“How do you know your house is infected with swine-flu?”).
One joke sent by McGowan describes a teenage Middle Eastern suicide bomber, and a mother who laments “They blow up so fast, don’t they?”
In one email, Baxter asks Judge Eakin to slap Eakin’s staffer’s ass during a holiday party, and “let [him] know how it was.”
Another, received by a Dauphin County judge and two district attorneys, jokes about Home Alone’s Kevin being molested by Jerry Sandusky, who was charged with over 30 counts of child sexual abuse in Dauphin County about six weeks before the email was sent.
The Daily Beast obtained the emails on Friday after they were first acquired by Attorney General Kathleen Kane during an investigation into why it took so long to indict Sandusky, the Pennsylvania State University football coach, for child abuse.
Kane has vowed to expose what she says is a deviant and misogynist “network” of judges, federal prosecutors, attorneys general, law enforcement, district attorneys, and public defenders who share smut on the taxpayer’s dime. She said the email account linked to Justice Michael Eakin contained “racial, misogynistic pornography” and a joke about a woman who was beaten by her husband.
Eakin apologized for the content of those emails last week, saying he was disturbed by the idea that someone would be examining such dated, private correspondence.
A heavily redacted release by Kane last year cost five state officials their jobs, including a member of former Governor Tom Corbett’s cabinet, and Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery.
The dirty emails are being used by Kane as ammunition in a political fight against the “old boy’s network” she accuses of railroading her. Kane is facing felony charges for allegedly leaking information about a grand jury investigation to a newspaper in order to “retaliate against former prosecutors whom she believed had embarrassed her,” according to Montgomery County’s district attorney.
Kane was reportedly upset by Frank Fina, a prosecutor who was leading a probe into the NAACP conducted by the grand jury. Fina left Kane’s office to go to the Philadelphia district attorney’s office. Kane blamed Fina for an unflattering article about her decision to shut down the case against the NAACP.
Kane said the information she gave was not protected by grand jury secrecy rules. Prosecutors say she’s lying about that and committed perjury.
Last month the state Supreme Court suspended her law license, amplifying doubts that she would be able to carry out the duties of her office while mounting a criminal defense. Kane says she is innocent and will not step down.
Members of her party in the state have largely turned their backs on Kane, once regarded as a rising star. Philly Democratic godfather Congressman Bob Brady censured Kane in December, saying he had lost faith in her ability to do her job.
Kane has appeared increasingly desperate in successive promises to embarrass public officials with lascivious correspondence. She claims that the investigation began because she had access to Fina’s alleged collection of numerous pornographic emails and images, part of her review of Fina’s probe into convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky. Kane’s attorney says the criminal case against her amounts to “persecution by a group of angry men.”
A 2014 Judicial Conduct Board review of the emails found them to be suggestive but not worthy of disciplinary action. Kane says special counsel in that investigation, Robert Byer, and another attorney, Robert Graci, downplayed the offensive nature of those emails.
Kane says said that while the JCB described them in its 2014 report as “mildly pornographic” and “sexually suggestive,” she felt they were more than that.