AP NEWS

Harris County judge accused of assault cleared of wrongdoing by grand jury

February 25, 2019

A Harris County judge on Monday was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by a grand jury after he was accused of forcefully grabbing a woman in his court.

Criminal Court at Law #10 Judge Lee Harper Wilson, who took the bench after a Democratic sweep last year and presides over misdemeanor criminal cases, was investigated by the Houston police for allegedly assaulting the legal assistant of a defense attorney in his courtroom on January 29.

Lee was accused of walking down from the bench and physically grabbing the woman to move her out of an area in the courtroom typically reserved for attorneys.

James Stafford, Wilson’s attorney, said the judge did not hurt the woman or intend to hurt the woman and took a lie detector test to prove it. Stafford also said an eyewitness was expected to testify that the touch did not look malicious or violent.

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Grand jury proceedings are secret, so what the eyewitness said is confidential.

“It’s really sad that an innocent act can get you in so much trouble when you didn’t intend to do any harm,” Stafford said about the allegations. “The judge did not intend to cause her any emotional stress and we’re still puzzled about why she had the reaction she did.”

The incident left the woman with bruises on her arm, according to her attorney, Thuy Le.

The judge, who has been on the bench since the alleged incident, has declined to comment on the incident. Wilson gave testimony to grand jurors about his encounter with the legal assistant, Stafford confirmed.

brian.rogers@chron.com

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