Washington judge found guilty of harassment, patronizing prostitute

A jury has found Pierce County Superior Court Judge Michael Hecht guilty of felony harassment and patronizing a prostitute.

The verdict was announced just after 10 a.m. today. After the first verdict was announced, there was an audible gasp in the courtroom.

Afterward, two of Hecht's grown children and his wife, who have sat through the trial, started crying. They hugged Hecht.

"It's OK. It's OK," he told them.

Jurors started deliberating the case about 1 p.m. Tuesday after hearing evidence and witness testimony over six days. They deliberated for three hours Tuesday before adjourning for the night.

Prosecutors had charged Hecht, 59, with felony harassment and patronizing a prostitute, a misdemeanor.

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