A retired US judge is himself before the beak in Bristow, Oklahoma, "on charges he used a penis pump on himself in the courtroom while sitting in judgment of others", AP reports.
The trial of Donald D Thompson, 59, has reportedly provoked much courtroom merriment as the jury has been entertained by both a defence attorney and prosecutor indulging in "pantomime masturbation" and a former juror in Thompson's court identifying the sound of the pump because "he had seen such devices in Austin Powers and Dead Man on Campus".
A key witness in the trial has been former court reporter Lisa Foster. In giving testimony, she "wiped away tears as she described tracing an unfamiliar 'sh-sh' in the courtroom to her boss". Foster alleges that between 2001 and 2003 she saw the judge expose himself "at least 15 times", adding: "I was really shocked and I was kind of scared because it was so bizarre."
Foster further testified that during a 2002 trial, she heard the pump "during the emotional testimony of a murdered toddler's grandfather". She continued: "The grandfather was getting real teary-eyed, and the judge was up there pumping on that pump. It was sickening."
Thompson's pneumatic proceedings came to an end after a police officer heard the pump's distinctive signature during a case, and photographed the device during a recess. Thompson was charged with four counts of indecent exposure - each carrying a 10-year maximum sentence - and faces the possible withdrawal of his substantial $7,489.91 a month pension if found guilty.
From the witness box, Thompson claimed the pump was "a gag gift from a longtime friend with whom he had joked about erectile dysfunction". He admitted keeping it under the bench or in his office, but denied he'd ever used it. He added: "In 20-20 hindsight, I should have thrown it away."
Moments of light relief in the trial have included the aforementioned Austin Powers connection, offered by Daniel Greenwood, and expert witness Dr S Edward Dakil who "repeatedly prompted laughter" with his urology testimony.
When challenged by defense attorney Clark Brewster that the penis pump was "an out-of-date treatment for erectile dysfunction", Dakil asserted: "I still use those." After a suitable pause, Brewster enquired: "Not you, personally?" to which Dakil responded to jury laughter: "No. I recommend those as a urologist." ®