Discipline Panel Hears Strong Support for Judge Suspended for Groping Incidents

CONCORD, N.H. -- A judge trying to get his job back after groping five women has widespread support from the legal and law enforcement communities.

Supporters of Rochester District Court Judge Franklin Jones packed a hearing Wednesday before the Judicial Conduct Committee to argue that Jones is too valuable to remove from the bench.

"I would ask, what is enough punishment?" said Sally Struble, a Strafford County prosecutor who worked in Jones's courtroom but also saw him grope one of her co-workers. "Is it the public humiliation? Facing his wife and children? Losing his seat on the bench? My personal opinion is that it would be a real shame if he couldn't appear back on the bench at some point."

Jones assaulted the women in May on the dance floor at the Mount Washington Hotel during a state-sponsered conference on domestic and sexual violence. Jones, who said he was drunk, knew the women because they worked as a victim advocates in his courtroom.

Details here from the AP via Boston.com.