Judge faces punishment for having sex in his chambers

BOSTON — Massachusetts’ highest court will meet to consider the punishment for a judge who admitted to having a relationship with a courthouse employee that included sexual encounters in his chambers.

The Supreme Judicial Court will hold a hearing Tuesday to explore sanctions for Judge Thomas Estes for his affair with social worker Tammy Cagle.

The Commission on Judicial Conduct wants Estes to be suspended indefinitely to give lawmakers time to decide whether to remove him from the bench. The last time Massachusetts lawmakers ousted a judge was in 1973.

Cagle has accused Estes of pressuring her into performing oral sex on him in his chambers and her home. Estes says the relationship was consensual and that the humiliation he has experienced calls for a more lenient punishment of a four-month suspension.

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