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Jefferson County judge accused of using position for sexual favors

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The New York state attorney general's office is bringing charges against a village judge in Jefferson County over claims that he used his position to elicit sexual favors from a defendant.

Village of West Carthage Justice Delmar House is facing two felony charges for allegedly reducing a fine for a defendant who appeared before him in exchange for sexual favors. In a statement, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the 49-year-old also paid a portion of the defendant's fines for additional sexual services. 

“Any court official who exploits their position to elicit sexual favors shows blatant disregard for the wellbeing of their victim, the trust of the public, and for the judicial system as a whole,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “We will keep working to root out public corruption and hold those responsible accountable.”

House had served as village justice in West Carthage from 2008 until March of this year, resigning after the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct investigated a separate complaint of unethical behavior at a bar last year.

In a court appearance in Jefferson County Tuesday, House pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in state prison. 

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.