Massachusetts Judge Shelley Joseph left the courtroom in tears on Saturday after she was charged with helping an illegal immigrant escape arrest at the hands of ICE agents.
Watch the video below:
Joseph is accused of helping smuggle criminal illegal immigrant Jose Medina-Perez out of her courthouse via a backdoor in order to help him elude ICE agents. The illegal immigrant was set to be arrested and deported after his latest drunken driving charge.
Medina-Perez has already been deported twice.
Judge Joseph has been charged with obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting; obstruction of a federal proceeding, aiding and abetting and conspiracy to obstruct justice. She has also been suspended without pay.
“This case is about the rule of law. The allegations in today’s indictment involve obstruction by a sitting judge, that is intentional interference with the enforcement of federal law, and that is a crime," U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said of the charges against the judge.
The special agent in charge of the Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, Peter Fitzhugh, echoed Lelling’s assessment.
"As public servants, all of the officers in the court make a promise — a promise to serve the people’s interest above all else. Today we know this promise has been broken,” Fitzhugh said.
“Medina-Perez was the subject of an ICE detainer -- a written request to hold an individual wanted for deportation for up to 48 hours -- and an ICE agent was waiting in the lobby of the courthouse to detain Medina-Perez after the arraignment, officials said,” Fox News reported.
After a brief conversation about whether ICE was going to arrest Medina-Perez, Joseph ordered the court recorder to stop recording audio. The illegal immigrant was able to escape moments later.
"With the recorder off, defendant Joseph and the Defense Attorney discussed devising a way to have A.S. [Medina-Perez] avoid being arrested by the ICE officer," according to court documents.
Not even judges are above the law. This judge just learned that lesson the hard way.