When a state judge in New Jersey sentenced a man to death, it was hailed as a victory for the death sentence, but not everyone was pleased.
Judge Anthony Salas, who is in charge of the death-penalty case in Orange County, was arrested in December 2016 and has since been charged with obstruction of justice and filing false police reports.
The charges stem from an incident in which he allegedly lied to investigators about an alleged rape, the Orange County Register reports.
The judge was also accused of lying to investigators, and the alleged rape charge stemmed from the false allegation, the Register reports, citing a source familiar with the case.
The New Jersey Attorney General’s office announced that they have charged Salas with two counts of filing false reports and obstruction of investigation in a criminal case, the paper reported.
The Attorney General of New Jersey said in a statement that the charges were brought “in the context of a criminal investigation” and that the allegations are “completely false.”
The arrest came just a day after the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to the death sentences in Pennsylvania.
A panel of three justices on Monday agreed to rehear the case, according to the paper.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had ruled that the state should be able to appeal the convictions.
Salas is currently serving a 10-year sentence after pleading guilty to murder and rape charges in 2016.
The victim, now 33-year-old Michelle Smith, was found dead in the shower of his home in 2015.
The judge was sentenced to death in August of last year, but was released from prison in May 2017.
The decision to retry the case in Pennsylvania was widely seen as a rebuke of the state’s death penalty, but the Pennsylvania Supreme, the newspaper reported, said that Salas was “a person who has served his time, and he has made a conscious decision not to return to the office of the judge.”
The New York Supreme Court, meanwhile, ruled last month that the trial court had improperly sentenced Salas to death.
In July, Salas pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of rape and was sentenced by a judge who said he had no prior convictions for sexual assault, the Times of Israel reported.
He was released on $100,000 bail.
Salis had faced the possibility of being executed after the Pennsylvania case was decided, but in 2017, the Supreme court granted him a stay in the case until 2019, the Associated Press reported.