- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

EL PASO, TEXAS (AP) - A newly elected Texas judge has been arrested on federal charges that he took money and asked for sex from defendants in exchange for help on felony cases in his El Paso court.

Manuel J. Barraza did not enter a plea during his initial appearance in federal court Thursday. He was released after posting $10,000 bail and is to be arraigned next week on charges that include mail fraud, wire fraud and lying to a federal agent.

The FBI arrested the 53-year-old judge Thursday morning. His indictment alleges that he took cash bribes and asked for sex from defendants, including an undercover FBI agent, in exchange for his help.

Barraza was elected in November and took the bench in January. He told reporters he has faith in the justice system.

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