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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Buffalo News: Prison Likely for Former Judge Pimp

Former judge Tills faces likely prison term after admitting he recruited prostitutes Guilty plea may net 21 month sentence
The Buffalo News by Dan Herbeck - September 6, 2008

Former Judge Tills pleads guilty in prostitution case, faces 21 months in prison
Former Judge Tills resigns amid FBI prostitution investigation
Judge Tills traveled with woman he jailed on prostitution charge
Two Erie County deputies added to Jesters prostitution investigation
Lawyer in Jesters case pleads guilty to transporting prostitute illegally

Ronald H. Tills had the reputation as one of the toughest sentencing judges in Western New York during his 10 years as a State Supreme Court judge. But it turns out that, while the judge was throwing the book at others, he was engaging in felony crimes himself. And now Tills is looking at jail time — possibly 21 months or more — after taking a plea deal Thursday before U. S. District Judge William M. Skretny. An embarrassed-looking Tills, 73, admitted Thursday that he recruited prostitutes for events sponsored by a nationwide fraternal men’s club called the Royal Order of Jesters. The Hamburg resident pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the federal Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people across state lines for the purposes of prostitution. At least some of Tills’ illegal activities took place during his tenure as a state judge, which ended at the conclusion of 2005, according to court papers filed by the U. S. Attorney’s office.

Tills admitted the following:

• He was responsible for recruiting out-of-state prostitutes to work a Jesters meeting in Dunkirk “in or about September 2001,” while serving as director of the Buffalo chapter of the Jesters.
• He recruited an illegal alien prostitute from a North Tonawanda massage parlor to service men at a Jesters event in Kentucky in October 2005.
• He arranged for transporting prostitutes from Buffalo Niagara International Airport to a national Jesters meeting in Niagara Falls, Ont., in the spring of 2006.

Several infractions

• He recruited a woman from the same massage parlor to work as a prostitute at a Jesters gathering in Pennsylvania sometime in the fall of 2006. He also arranged for a Buffalo-area prostitute to travel to Florida for a Jesters event.
• He arranged for prostitutes from three different states to service a Jesters meeting in Brantford, Ont., in October 2007.

Tills is ashamed of his actions and takes full responsibility for them, said the former judge’s attorney, Terrence M. Connors. “He admitted in court that he committed a crime, his conduct was wrong and his judgment was horrible,” Connors said Thursday. “Privately, he has told me he has no one to blame but himself. He understands there will be serious consequences, and he’s prepared to deal with them.” Tills, who will be sentenced Jan. 12, had no comment after his court appearance Thursday. Will the former judge get prison time for his actions? Connors declined to speculate, but under advisory sentencing guidelines, prison time appears likely.

Judge has latitude

Skretny indicated that Tills faces a probable prison term of at least 21 months. Because the sentencing guidelines are advisory, Skretny could determine that Tills deserves a longer term, or possibly a shorter one, including home confinement or probation. Skretny also said that, in part, Tills’ sentence will be based on how helpful he is to federal agents as they continue their investigation into the Jesters’ involvement in human trafficking and prostitution. Skretny said Tills has agreed to provide “proactive cooperation” in the ongoing probe. Federal agents believe that Buffalo was not the only Jesters chapter involved in transporting prostitutes across state lines, according to court papers filed by Assistant U. S. Attorney Robert C. Moscati. “This organization maintained chapters throughout the United States, including in Western New York, and it was the custom of these chapters to host periodic meetings, usually on weekends, for their members,” Moscati stated.

Liaisons were common

“At most of these meetings, some members of the organization would be tasked to arrange the presence of women at the meeting, for the specific purpose of utilizing the women to engage in sexual intercourse and other sexual activity with the organization’s members in exchange for money.” The Jesters have more than 23,000 members, including prominent businessmen, court officials and government office holders. In order to join the Jesters, a man must also be a member of the Masons and the Shriners. The Jesters’ motto is “Mirth is king.” The Buffalo News first reported in March that Tills and other Buffalo Jesters were under investigation for allegedly hiring prostitutes for events and transporting them over state lines. Tills’ law clerk, Michael Stebick, and former Lockport police captain John Trowbridge previously pleaded guilty to charges from the investigation. All three agreed to cooperate in the ongoing investigation.

Agents from a human trafficking task force in Buffalo are working on the case. The task force includes investigators from the FBI, U. S. Border Patrol, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, U. S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement and other agencies. Prosecutors said they learned about the Jesters’ involvement while investigating prostitution and human trafficking crimes associated with massage parlors in Niagara and Erie counties. Alex Rogers, national business manager of the Jesters, said from Indianapolis Thursday he was unaware of Tills’ plea agreement and could not comment on it. But Rogers said the Jesters as an organization do not condone or authorize the hiring of prostitutes at events. “There may be certain individuals out there doing that, but not as an organization,” Rogers said.


Anonymous said...

I unfortunately worked for the courts for many, many years!
During this tenure, I was well aware of Judge Tills.
I never learned that he was a tough sentencing judge until yesterday, because that was never the subject of conversation regarding him.
I never worked with him, or in his building or did I meet him...but I certainly heard the sex stories for many years.
It was common for him to rent a limo for the x-mas parties and solicit attractive females from the courthouse, to ride all over Buffalo for a Santa Claus adventure! You know..ho, ho, ho!
Judge Skretny is a very tough and ethical judge, so I think Tills has something to worry about!
Judge Skretny is known to give the max time to lawyers and cops, who break the law...and that is what is needed here.
Terry Connors is one of those lawyers that represents errant judiciary, so his words are just usual, regarding anything involving this case!
Judge Tills needs prison and then maybe he can see what sick sex, really is about!

Anonymous said...

Maybe, things will go well for the judge in prison. The judge can use his judicial connections and promise to help fellow inmates get out of jail. That way he won't be forced to accept unwanted sex.

Anonymous said...

Alice Chapman...the gender bias queen of OCA...probably covered up all the Till's complaints, from employees like she has done for 15 years!
I guess her conscience had a large acceptable price tag for the token, hack position!
Sleep well will pay in the end for sure!

Anonymous said...

May Alice receive justice in the after life.

Anonymous said...

We should stop calling them judges, and just call them what they are: pimps.

Anonymous said...

In Orange County Goshen New York Judges are covering up child porn and for what appears child prostitution too. It appears the DA's Office is also getting a cut out of this deal.

Anonymous said...

Oh, give the guy a break. He was just trying to get himself and his friends a little action.

Oops, he's a judge and a lawyer, and the folks he's getting laid are probably other judges and lawyers (etc)..... OK, maybe he, as a FRIGGIN' JUDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! shouldn't be working as a whore master, a pimp..... but he is..... figure that one out. Hey, judge, did you make your family proud.

Nothing personal, dear Judge-Man: you are an idiot!

Anonymous said...

we would try to keep some of these horny old Judges from the young girls and it was hard work. Some of these guys were not to be believed. We would take turns writing their decisions while they were busy in chamber enjoying themselves. We always protected them since no one gave a damn.

Anonymous said...

Don't be so harsh. Maybe he just needed some extra money to help make ends meet.

Anonymous said...

don't you know that all judges are pimps for one thing or the other. The surrogate judges are the biggest pimps due to the fact that they have deals going with all the big trust & estate attorneys and professional corporate (banks) fiduciaries. That's why they all want the job, it's a money pot.

Anonymous said...

To 8:20...Tills didn't need to corral foreign hookers for sex for himself or anyone else...he had plenty of court workers who got their jobs...whoring for the salary and then paid the price in the judge's chambers daily!
Just a 2 second inter- office phone call and the party begins!
The funny thing is the fact, that the supervisors...esp the female hack-lovers themselves, allowed this to happen!
I know because I saw and heard it personally, and a judge who worked with Tills till he quit, tried it with me!
This story is not a fluke incident for OCA, but a common practice, to assure complete and unending pleasure, for their dress garbed politicos!

Anonymous said...

Maybe that is the problem in Orange County Goshen Family and Supreme Court. But instead of prostitutes they are using children.

Anonymous said...

Pimp daddy Tills looks just like my grampa!
I'll never be able to sit on his lap again..thanks you old PIG!

Anonymous said...

Lots of further questions need to be asked of old pimp daddy Tills, regarding OCA'S culpability in his behavior, for all those years he worked as a sitting SUPREME COURT JUDGE!

I find it impossible to believe that ANY level court employee, esp the judiciary, did not know or hear that he and his law clerk, participated in this conduct.

The 8th judicial district's court buildings are all a stone's throw from each other, and many employees and judges love to engage in constant daily gossip, as a way of their work life becoming their entertainment! Nothing like a juicy sex or beating up of others, story for the lunch or smoke break time!

If these officers of the court knew even just a hint of any of this, they too are legally responsible for violations of the laws of this country and state, and especially obstruction of justice!

Investigate the court, as well as those that perpetrated the origianal crimes! I am requesting this as a taxpaying citizen of this country!

How could a sitting Supreme Court Judge not know...prostitution is a serious crime that demeans and diminishes women, even though OCA, his employer, participates and contributes to this abuse, against women and minorities!

A FEDERAL monitor is my request, since this is not the only judge or court employee engaged in illegal sexual, abusive or drug abuse has been reported by the media and this site, just this year!

Not a symptom anymore, but a problem within OCA!

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