A disgraced former judge in Kentucky received a sentence of 20 years in prison for his role in a long-running human trafficking operation. The judge pleaded guilty to 21 counts of trafficking women and young girls in the sex trade industry.
Judge Kathleen Lape sentenced 71-year-old Tim Nolan to spend 20 years in state prison on Friday. She also ordered Nolan to pay a $100,000 fine. While the sentence could land the former judge in prison for the rest of his life, he is eligible for parole in four years, Cincinnati.com reported.
Voters in Campbell County elected Nolan to serve on the school board in 2016. He served as a district court judge in the 1970s and 80s.
Nolan used threats of arrest and eviction to force women and under-age girls to perform sex acts, the charges stated. On Friday, he pleaded guilty to 21 counts for activities dating back to 2004.
In a desperate attempt to smear President Donald Trump, the New York Daily News took the opportunity of Nolan’s conviction to link him to the president in their headline. “Trump-backing former judge pleads guilty to human trafficking charges,” the New York newspaper wrote on Friday. Nolan was not charged in the case until well after the 2016 presidential campaign.
Cincinnati.com reported that Nolan pleaded guilty to the following:
- Nolan paid some victims with heroin and painkillers in exchange for sex.
- At least one victim lived on his property in southern Campbell County. He threatened eviction unless sex acts were performed.
- He threatened some victims with arrest, including telling one victim he’d call friends in the FBI and other law enforcement to arrest her.
Had the allegations gone to trial, Nolan could have faced up to 100 years in prison for the 28 felony indictments brought against him.
“The punishment in this case does not undo the trauma inflicted on the victims, but it brings closure and some justice,” Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said in a statement. “I want to thank the Campbell County Police Department and our special prosecutions team for working this case.”
Officials did not disclose how Nolan became involved in human trafficking. His attorney Margo Grubbs, suggested the current change in political climate regarding the “power differential between men and women” could be the blame for Nolan’s guilty plea, the Cincinnati news outlet reported.
“I’m saying the underlying facts as alleged by victims do not necessarily equate to what really happened, because we all know in life there are two sides to every story,” Grubbs told reporters following Nolan’s sentencing. “The sad part of it is, often times the criminal defendant finds themselves at an insurmountable obstacle in order to prove complete innocence.”
“Mr. Nolan has been a public servant to the people of Campbell County for a majority of his life, and at some point there has to be a redemption for those who committed offenses but has to be balanced by what they have given,” Grubbs concluded.