The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday suspended from legal practice until March a former Harper County associate district judge who pleaded no contest to violating Oklahoma's computer crimes act.
G. Wayne Olmstead resigned in January after being indicted in 2011. He was accused of downloading pornographic videos from the Internet to his state computer.
Olmstead, 64, initially faced 19 felony counts of downloading obscene materials, but he reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and pleaded no contest in January to a felony charge of violating Oklahoma's computer crimes act. The original case was dismissed.
The new charge alleged he downloaded certain inappropriate material to his state computer in 2011. Olmstead, who became an associate district judge in 2002 in Harper County, agreed to resign, spend a year on probation, pay about $4,000 in court costs and get a mental health evaluation.
A judge has deferred imposing any sentence until January when Olmstead's year of probation ends.
A total of 57 pornographic movies were found to have been stored on Olmstead's state-issued computer after the misconduct was discovered in 2011, according to earlier court documents.
“The nature of the content and volume of the material downloaded by Olmstead cannot be minimized,” wrote Justice Douglas Combs. “The act of downloading adult sexually suggestive materials in tremendous volume on a state-owned computer is a very serious offense which should not be minimalized.”
The state Supreme Court in March issued an interim suspension for Olmstead, who requested that the discipline be set aside, Combs wrote. The suspension ordered Monday runs through March 12. Justices voted 8-0 to suspend Olmstead; Chief Justice Steven Taylor didn't vote.
“The bare mitigating factors that he is a good lawyer and a good person cannot overcome the fact that he knowingly used his state-owned computer to download sensitive materials in tremendous volume for his personal use,” Combs wrote. “His arguments that he has been punished enough by the loss of his job and public embarrassment is in fact not enough punishment for his lack of judgment and respect for the position he held.”