A Texas judge advised a jury that God told him a sex trafficking defendant was not guilty and asked them to acquit, according to a recent public warning from the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct.
The warning details a January 2018 incident in the trial of Gloria Romero Perez, the San Antonio Express-News reported Wednesday. Perez faced charges of continuous sex trafficking and the sale or purchase of a child in the trial, which was presided over by Comal County Judge Jack Robison.
When told the jury had reached a verdict, Robison informed jurors that God told him Perez was innocent, the report says. He also said he believed convicting Perez would be a miscarriage of justice and asked the jury to deliberate for “10 or 15 minutes” more.
Robison later apologized to the jury for the comment, saying “something to the effect of, ‘When God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it,'” the report says.
Robison reported himself to the commission after the incident, saying that around the time of the trial he was experiencing memory lapses, undergoing treatment for a serious medical condition and coping with the death of a close friend.
Robison said his behavior with the jury was improper and out-of-character, and he recused himself from the sentencing portion of the trial.
Two medical professionals later provided an explanation on Robison’s behalf, per the warning: Robison had likely suffered a temporary “delirium” brought on by intense personal stress, a medical condition and drugs used in his treatment.
Robison does not currently suffer from a mental illness, the medical professionals found.
Perez was found guilty, despite the judge’s comments. However, the conviction was later declared a mistrial.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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