A Texas state district judge interrupted a jury’s deliberations in a child sex trafficking case because he says God told him to intervene.
Judge Jack Robison‘s intervention was an attempt to sway the jury to bring back a not guilty verdict, according to the Statesman. He later reportedly apologized for the interruption, saying, “when God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it.”
The jury however didn’t heed the judge’s divine plea and found Gloria Romero-Perez guilty of “continuous trafficking of a person” and sentenced her to 25 years in prison.
From the Statesman:
Robison, who also presides in Hays and Caldwell counties, did not respond to a message left with his court coordinator, Steve Thomas, who said the case is still pending. Robison is scheduled to return to the bench in Comal County on Jan. 31.
The Herald-Zeitung reported that Robison recused himself before the trial’s sentencing phase and was replaced by Judge Gary Steele. The defendant’s attorney asked for a mistrial, but was denied.
Robison’s actions could trigger an investigation from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which has disciplined Robison in the past.
Before the sentencing phase of the trial began, Judge Robison recused himself.
Feature image via screen grab/Statesman