Tulsa Judge Agrees To Deferred Prosecution

Monday, June 15th 2009, 7:45 am
By: News On 6

By Jennifer Loren, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The case against a Tulsa County District Court judge has been dismissed until further notice.  District Judge Jesse Harris was accused of two felonies.  But, on Monday, the Washington County District Attorney deferred the charges against him as long as the judge behaves for one year and completes a program called Judges Helping Judges.

Tulsa County District Judge Jesse Harris walked out of court and back to his life as it was before he was accused of two felonies.

3/5/2009 Related story: Hearing Set For Tulsa Judge

Last year, Harris was accused of exposing himself to two women outside a Tulsa motel.  The women claim they asked Harris for a favor.  That's when they say Harris exposed and fondled himself.

Judge Harris denied their claims, but according to a signed document, Harris now admits he committed gross injury of the public peace in connection with the incident.  The charge is a misdemeanor, but it's now been deferred.

That means the charge is dismissed and in one year will be sealed as long as Judge Harris doesn't break the law, lie to any branch of government, pays $1,200 in witness travel expenses and completes the program, Judges Helping Judges.

Read the deferred prosecution agreement.

"The first I knew that we were part of any deferred prosecution agreement was this afternoon when I received a phone call from Channel 6," said Judge April Sellers-White, Co-Chair of Judges Helping Judges.

The co-chair of Judges Helping Judges could not speak specifically about Judge Harris' case, but said they will formulate a plan and assign him a judge as sort of a mentor.

"It is very much a one on one situation. A judge will speak to another judge. It is very informal," said Judge April Sellers-White, Co-Chair of Judges Helping Judges.

Their goal will be to solve Judge Harris' problems, depending on what the district attorney, prosecution and defense say they are.

Judge Harris has continued on the bench throughout the case against him.  There is no reason to believe that will change.