The chief judge of the District’s federal court retired Wednesday, citing unspecified health issues that he said prevented him from continuing to serve on the bench.
Chief Judge Richard W. Roberts’s early retirement came on the same day that a Utah woman filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing him of sexually assaulting her decades ago when she was a 16-year-old eyewitness in a high-profile murder case that Roberts was prosecuting.
Roberts, 63, declined to comment on his retirement or the lawsuit, but his attorneys called the allegations “categorically false” and said Roberts intends to “vigorously challenge” the allegations in court. His lawyers said the judge, who was unmarried at the time, had an intimate, consensual relationship with the woman that did not take place until after the end of the trial in which she testified.
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