10.21.2003

JUST ANOTHER REASON TO MOCK THE FRENCH

Judge masturbates while lawyer pleads her case, police say

Reuters

October 20, 2003, 11:47 AM EDT

BORDEAUX, France - A French judge was placed under official investigation for ``sexual exposure'' in a courtroom, prosecutors said after a newspaper reported the judge masturbated while a lawyer pleaded her case.

The 39-year-old judge masturbated for several minutes last week while listening to a female lawyer addressing the court in a case dealing with a dispute between neighbors, regional paper La Charente Libre said Friday.

One of the paper's reporters saw the judge ``making unambiguous gestures after discretely lifting his judicial robe and opening his trousers,'' it said.

The judge was temporarily suspended from his professional duties and examined by a psychiatrist, a prosecutor in the southwestern town of Angouleme said.

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