Judge Won't Hear Any More Sex Cases

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Shawnee County district judge who has been criticized for granting light sentences for sex crimes won't hear any other cases involving sex offenses.

Judge Matthew Dowd, who plans to retire is September, disqualified himself from such cases.

Chief Judge Nancy Parrish said in a statement that Dowd acted because of "the appearance that his impartiality might be questioned" after intense public reaction to some of his prior sentencings.

Any pending sex offender cases before Dowd will be reassigned to other judges in the criminal division.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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