U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent of Houston is faced with a slew of sexual misconduct charges, including aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact and obstruction of justice, for which he faces a possible sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. Things look bleak for Judge Kent, but he should take some small comfort in knowing that he's not the only Houstonian to get in trouble for these kinds of shenanigans.
1. Calvin Murphy -- Houston Rockets guard Murphy had almost as many illegitimate children as he did free throws, and when five of them charged him with sexual abuse, it looked like that free-throws record was going to be overshadowed long before anyone ever heard the words "Tracy McGrady". But when no other reports of sexual abuse turned up (and as the long-time director of Houston's Marching Thunder Drill Team -- a marching band and baton-twirling group -- Murphy would have had plenty of opportunity, not to mention a bountiful selection), the jury deliberated a mere two hours before agreeing with Murphy's lawyer that his accusers merely wanted money, and acquitted him of all charges.
2. Chuck Rosenthal -- Former Harris County District Attorney Rosenthal succumbed to Greek-tragedy-caliber hubris when his extramarital flirting with his secretary came to light once his e-mail was subpoenaed. It could be argued that incriminating evidence in one's email isn't necessarily an indication of hubris, but that argument crumbles a bit once you realize Rosenthal's wife Cindy used to be a Special Agent with the FBI, key emphasis on the "I". Just one example in a long line of hypocritical Republicans who attempted to legislate sexual moralism (he argued before the Supreme Court that Texas laws against sodomy were constitutional), Rosenthal is another reminder that every time someone tries to reform the country's sexual practices into something vanilla and family-friendly, that is a pretty clear indication that a full investigation is in order to see what they're hiding.
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3. Huey Meaux -- When a police investigation begins with the prying open of a door that leads to a "playroom" which prominently features a gynecological exam table and a drawer full of cocaine, it's a safe bet the ride is probably downhill from there. That was certainly true for famed record producer Meaux who, when not producing hits like Freddy Fender's "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," spent a great deal of time producing videos of himself having sex with a stable of girls ranging in age from twelve to sixteen. Despite being charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of child pornography and two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child (not to mention the whole bond-jumping incident), Meaux's mandatory release date was September 15, 2002, which means he's been a free man for more than six years. No word yet on if he's put in a new playroom.
4. Roger Clemens -- Only two years after designated hitter/dime-store stoolie José Canseco described him in his tell-all book Juiced as "one of the very few baseball players I know who never cheated on his wife," it came to light that not only had renowned Astros/Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens cheated on his wife, he'd done it several times. The New York Daily News reported on the possibility that Clemens' extramarital relationship with country star Mindy McReady may have begun when the singer was only 15; however, Clemens and McReady denied this and maintained that although they had met when McReady was sixteen, their relationship did not become sexual until "several years" later. To be fair, none of Clemens' ex-flings had anything but terse silence for the press when they came nosing around for dirt, and that, taken with reports that Clemens was pretty lucrative with the jewelry, travel tickets, and passes to games suggests that he was at least decent to the women he fooled around with, which is more than ol' "Slap Happy" Canseco can say.
5. Sam Houston -- The accounts of exactly what happened on the city namesake's wedding night are short on fact and long on speculation, but this much is known: mere days after 19-year-old Eliza Allen married the 35-year-old Tennessee governor, she watched Houston have a snowball fight with friend Martha Martin's kids and bitterly muttered "I wish they would kill him." A few weeks after that, Eliza fled back to her family, leaving Houston's political career in tatters and igniting wild speculation as to what might have happened. Theories range from Eliza's tearful confession of her love for another man (to which Houston supposedly replied "Miss, no white woman is my slave," which was probably pretty gracious for the time period) to the fact that the man known as The Raven and Big Drunk by the Cherokee he lived with as a teenager horrified his old-fashioned new wife by romancing her in their style, which today we would describe as "doggy." Whatever happened, the resulting scandal caused the disgraced Houston to resign his post as governor of Tennessee and head west, which, of course, any Houstonian should be grateful for.
-- John S. Gray