Former Monroe County judge pleads guilty in prostitution case

Judge Jarod Calkins accused of hiring women for sex

Judge Jarod Calkins (WDIV)

MONROE COUNTY, Mich. - A Monroe County judge accused of hiring women to meet him at a hotel to engage in sexual activity for money pleaded guilty Wednesday, officials said.

Michigan State Police troopers said they received reports of prostitution-related activities in a hotel in Monroe. Troopers uncovered evidence that Judge Jarod Calkins was having women meet him at the hotel to engage in sexual activity for money, police said.

Calkins, 41, of Carleton, was charged with four counts of hiring women for the purpose of prostitution and one count of transporting a person for the purpose of prostitution. He resigned from the Monroe County First District Court in June.

He pleaded guilty to four felony counts of misconduct in office. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, police said.

"Public officials must be held to a higher standard, and I will continue to work with law enforcement to ensure that we hold accountable anyone who violates the public trust," Schuette said. "I applaud the work done by the Michigan State Police and my Public Integrity Unit, who put a stop to activities that violate the public trust."

Transporting a person for the purpose of prostitution is a felony that carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Hiring women for the purpose of prostitution is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 93 days in jail.

Calkins was arraigned Friday and is being held on $25,000 bail. His next court date has not yet been scheduled.

Here is a statement from the Hon. Jack Vitale, Chief Judge of Monroe County Courts:

"I have discussed the issue of the criminal charges filed against Judge Calkins with all of the Monroe County judges. Just like any other citizen in the United States, Judge Calkins is entitled to due process of law and a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

"However, like other professionals and civil servants, judges are held to a higher standard of conduct and the citizens of Monroe County deserve to know that their elected judges are beyond reproach in the performance of their duties.

"Accordingly, and in the deliberation with all Monroe County judges, Judge Calkins is placed on administrative leave immediately and indefinitely until further notice.

"I speak for the entire Monroe County judiciary in saying that we treasure the trust and confidence that the citizens of Monroe County have vested in us. We wholeheartedly assure the residents of Monroe County that we will continue to carry out the duties and responsibilities of our office and afford all court users the professional, timely and efficient administration of justice that they deserve."

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