A former judge is accused of ordering deputies to plant drugs and make a false arrest of a woman who accused him of sexual harassment. Former Judge Bryant Cochran, The Murray County Georgia Sheriff’s Department, and several others were name in the lawsuit filed by Angela Garmley.
Garmley was a primary witness in a sexual harassment lawsuit that eventually led to Judge Cochran’s resignation. Cochran was accused of propositioning Gramley in exchange for a “favorable ruling” in a case that was pending in his court. The conversation reportedly happened when the two were alone in the judge’s chambers.
As reported by Times Free Press, Garmley claims that the former judge asked for her phone number and constantly harassed her via text and phone calls. She states that Cochran repeatedly asked her sexual favors and nude photos.
Intimidated by the judge, Garmley eventually sent him a picture of herself wearing only panties. She later contacted an attorney about the continuing harassment.
As the accusations were made public, several employees of the Murray County Court came forward with similar stories. Yesenia Galvan, Virginia Rector, and Sonya Petty filed a complaint with the U.S. Attorney, accusing Cochran of sexual misconduct.
As reported by Courthouse News, The Murray County employees accused the former judge of touching and making comments about their breasts, making lewd jokes, and otherwise intimidating the women with sexual advances.
Cochran eventually resigned from his position as judge, but the lawsuits continue. Most recently, the former judge is accused of ordering deputies to plant drugs and falsely arrest Angela Garmley, his first accuser.
Garmley was arrested by Murray County Sheriff’s deputies one day before Cochran turned in his resignation. She was arrested for possession of drugs that she claims were planted in her vehicle in an effort to reduce her credibility as a witness.
An investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation revealed that the methamphetamine was indeed planted in Gramley’s car by sheriff’s deputies. Two deputies were terminated as a result of the investigation.
The criminal charges against Gramley were dropped, but she is seeking damages for civil rights violations, emotional distress and negligence. She holds former Judge Cochran responsible for the incident as he ordered the deputies to plant the drugs, which led to her false arrest.