Ex-federal judge gets prison for crimes involving a stripper

ATLANTA - A former federal judge was sentenced Friday to 30 days in prison for drug-related crimes involving a stripper.

Jack Camp was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan to the prison time, plus a year of probation and a $1,000 fine. Camp, 67, had asked Hogan to sentence him to probation and community service. Prosecutors had said Camp should serve between 15 days and six months in prison.

"He disgraced his position and himself and denigrated his office. I could not only give him a sentence of probation and spare him confinement," Hogan said.

Camp resigned from the U.S. District Court in November after pleading guilty to a felony drug charge and two misdemeanors.

Camp said in court documents filed in February that his decades-long battle with depression and a bicycling accident in 2000 caused brain damage that led him to use drugs and start seeing the stripper. His attorneys said then "there is no punishment he will endure more painful than the guilt and shame he faces every day of the rest of his life."

"I want you to know that there is no one but me to blame for what happened," Camp told Hogan in prepared remarks. "I fully accept responsibility for my actions and no one knows better than I do the weight of the decision you have to make as to the appropriate penalty."

He said the struggles don't excuse his conduct and apologized to his supporters.

"I hope you will see fit to permit me to remain in my home and in my community. I commit to you that I will not abuse that trust and that I will work as hard as I can to justify it," he said. "I hope you will remember my many years of service to our country and to my community before these events ended my career last year."

Prosecutors countered that there's no denying Camp was a community leader, a family man and a respected jurist before he struck up the relationship with the stripper. But they said he owed a debt to society for his conduct.

Camp, who is married with two adult children, is a Vietnam War veteran who was appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan in 1987. After he started seeing the stripper, prosecutors say he soon began paying her for sex and using drugs with her.

Over the next few months, the two used cocaine and other drugs together at strip clubs and other places. In June, prosecutors said he brought a semiautomatic handgun with him when he followed her to a suburban Atlanta home where she was buying drugs.

She became a government informant by October, when Camp was arrested in a parking lot by federal agents after he gave the stripper $160 for a drug deal. They also recovered two guns from his front seat and discovered that he gave the stripper his $825 government-issued laptop computer.

As part of the plea agreement, he stepped down from the bench and agreed to cooperate with authorities looking into any of the cases he handled while he was being investigated.

He could have faced up to four years in federal prison, but prosecutors and defense attorneys acknowledged he was going to receive substantially less time.

"Every waking moment he deals with the knowledge that his recent actions have irrevocably destroyed the reputation he carefully crafted and painstakingly earned," his lawyers said in a court filing. "He recognizes that he will live his remaining years as a judge who broke the very law that he had sworn to uphold."

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