A former district attorney has pleaded guilty to agreeing to throw out a defendant’s criminal record in exchange for sex.
William E. McManus Jr., 50, admitted on May 25 to soliciting the bribe in December 2018, federal prosecutors in Tennessee said in a statement.
As part of a plea deal, McManus admitted that while he was an assistant district attorney, he dismissed and expunged shoplifting and possession of methamphetamine charges pending in Washington County in exchange for a commercial sex act with a woman, identified in court documents only as J.J.
Legal documents related to the plea agreement state the defendant acted corruptly and “solicited a commercial sex act with J.J. in exchange for dismissal of the charges pending against J.J. in the Sessions Court of Washington County, Tennessee, rather than paying J.J. for sex as the defendant had done previously.”
“The dismissal of the charges against J.J. was a thing of value involving $5,000 or more,” according to the documents.
McManus was arrested in a sting operation on May 28, 2020.
Before he was taken into custody, the Johnson City Press reported, the defendant had gone to the home of the woman facing charges, who was working with investigators and recorded their conversation, according to an affidavit.
On the recording, McManus is heard “discussing her court arrangements and potentially reducing or dismissing charges in part as well as McManus making numerous sexual advances,” the affidavit states.
The woman then told McManus she had to leave her Johnson City home after she received a phone call. In subsequent text messages, the two planned to meet again at the woman’s house later that day, and McManus was placed under arrest when he showed up to the prearranged meeting.
At the time, District Attorney General Ken Baldwin said the investigation was launched after his office received a tip.
McManus is set to be sentenced on Nov. 15. He could face a maximum punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.