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Former judge Michael Hecht is sentenced for making threat, buying sex

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Nov. 19, 2009 at 12:28 pm with 24 Comments »
November 19, 2009 2:29 pm
Michael Hecht testifying during his criminal trial. (TNT file photo)
Michael Hecht testifying during his criminal trial. (TNT file photo)

Former Pierce County Superior Court Judge Michael Hecht, convicted last month of felony harassment and patronizing a prostitute, was sentenced this afternoon to 240 hours of community service and “John School.”

The sentence handed down by King County Superior Court Judge James Cayce did not include any jail time.

Before being sentenced, Hecht told Judge Cayce that he had suffered greatly as a result of the allegations against him and his conviction. Hecht said he lost his job, and that his reputation had been tarnished.
“I’m a broken man,” Hecht said.

Cayce was not sympathetic. He told Hecht that the jury had seen “overwhelming evidence” of his guilt.

“You deserve everything you’ve gotten,” Cayce said.

A Pierce County jury on Oct. 28 convicted Hecht of buying sex from one young man and threatening to kill another to keep him from talking about their previous sex-for-money relationship.

Jurors deliberated for fewer than four hours after a six-day trial before finding Hecht guilty as charged.

Hecht resigned his $148,000-per-year position Monday.

He and his supporters maintain that he was wrongly convicted as part of a political vendetta by allies of the man he defeated in the August 2008 judicial election – incumbent Sergio Armijo.

Assistant state attorney general John Hillman argued today that Hecht should serve 90 days in jail for his crimes. Hecht has taken no responsibility for his actions nor shown any remorse, Hillman said.

Hecht’s attorney, Wayne Fricke, told Cayce that the former judge has suffered enough with the loss of his job and his reputation. Jail time would serve no purpose, Fricke said.

“John School” is a program offered in Tacoma and Lakewood for patrons arrested for soliciting prostitutes. During the school, the “johns” learn about the ill effects of the sex trade.

Read previous coverage of the case here.

Leave a comment Comments → 24
  1. tommy98466 says:

    OK Justice served. Lets move on and fill that seat with a QUALIFIED person.

  2. SonicCruiser says:

    Such a feather-weight sentence. You really taught him Judge Cayce. An hour a week of community service and sitting in a room daydreaming is really justice we can all believe in. Poor thing, he won’t be getting 148K and his “rep” is tarnished by HIS own actions…waaaaaaaaaah.

  3. glad he didnt get any jail time. he doesn’t deserve it. time to move and talk about someone else now.

  4. The truth is yet to be written about what really happened in this matter regarding the defendant. Four of the letters submitted to the judge offered new information that could be easily considered as a basis for doubt about the conviction and possibly a new basis for a new trial. The jury was persuaded based on false testimony. Sometime in the future this will become fact.

    In the meantime, Pierce County needs to worry about selection of a new judge.

  5. Replace? Fill the seat?

    There’s no money in the budget to do those things. Most likely, some people have been misled by the exec’s veto of the no-more-department-nine bill. However, the county council was alert enough to remove the money as well, so the veto has no real effect.

    Now if McCarthy wants to start a real war, she can veto the budget. While all us armchair spectators speculate whether she will do that, keep in mind that the only vote so far shows enough votes to over-ride any veto.

    So it seems unlikely that Department Nine has any further life until some faces change on the council.

  6. inukshuk says:

    Which is worse, voluntary community service or court

    sentenced community service?

    Taxpayers should get a 240 hour rebate.

  7. trekontenner says:

    Watch that slippery old codger…he will probably try to get paid for his community service and also get some added vacation time on top of what he is already being paid for. I’m really disappointed with the sentence. He should have gotten at least 365 days with 360 suspended. He needs a “John School” AND a victims awareness thing.

  8. trekontenner says:

    Yeah..and what nard said. LOL

  9. Micbizzle says:

    Michael Hecht did a lot of pro bono work. He never even got a chance to hear any cases because of these allegations. So please don’t paint him as a judge getting his karma. He is a decent man with a wonderful family and I’m glad to hear he is going to be appealing this ridiculous conviction. I still can’t believe the jury voted to convict. Where’s the reasonable doubt when it comes to the witnesses receiving payment for testimony and admitting they bought drugs with it!?!?!

  10. witchiwoman says:

    I don’t know why he looks like he’s crying in that picture. He got a slap on the wrist. He should be counting his blessings.

  11. bigmeatgrinder says:

    OK Sunup, I will type very s l o w … h e w a s v o t e d i n a s a j u d g e , b u t h e w a s s u s p e n d e d b e f o r e h e h e a r d a n y c a s e s !
    C o m p r e n d e ?

  12. To quote Emerson, Lake & Palmer, “Oh, what a lucky man he was…..”

  13. pegsterdtown says:

    I cannot believe that the juge said”You got what you deserved”? Being paid 148k while he was awaiting trail is sheer criminal to me. He needs to be punished accordingly. I believe jail time and house arrest on top of the community service and john school. It feels like there is some preferentual treatment here.

  14. timberlord says:

    The “pinky ring” says it all!

  15. pegsterdtown says:

    Back in the day when Eddie Murphy wore a pinky ring it was called a pimp ring.

  16. Let it be remembered forever: This man so throughly beat the terrible Judge Armijo it set some kind of record for electing judges.

    Clan Armijo: how does that soup taste now?

  17. alderete says:

    30 days of community service big deal.

    The state should review the judical sentences of each of this mans trials to determine if he adjudicated according to the law or demonstrated prejudice, and invalidate the findings where justifiable.. Clearly this gentleman is not an honorable or truthful man and is incapable of knowing right from wrong. Very sad day for the state legal system.

  18. t_Johnson says:

    If Hecht was a heterosexual Christian, they would have locked him up for sure.

  19. bigmeatgrinder says:

    just as Sunup
    He was suspended before he heard any criminal cases.
    Grab a clue. Pay a little more attention before you go off.
    Nothing wrong with going off….just don’t make yourselves look so silly…

  20. pegsterdtown says:

    So bigmeatgrinder since he was suspended before he heard any criminal cases should he still be allowed to be paid the 148k per year? I was just wondering were you stood on this position.

  21. rosehaven says:

    His defense for over the past year had to be costly! With the loss of his job in resigning the position, he obviously does feel badly, but with doing the community service and attending the ‘John’ School, could mean more changes. He has a lovely family and hopefully a new beginning to rise above this for a better life and greater good for himself and others. There are many strong feeling with so many issues involved.

  22. cconsuelo says:

    everyone is laughing

  23. cconsuelo says:

    Armijo Clan is laughing..loudly …….. Hecht lied about everything during campaign and about himself so look at him now…..sad for Pierce County buying into his lies and representations………..old new now….move on…

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