Angela Garmley: How She Stood Up to a Corrupt Court in the Deep South — and Won


Forget searching for a drama to entertain yourself with outlandish stories involving strange twists of sex, drugs, and run-ins with the law. Sometimes, you can just leave it up to your local law enforcement and judge to act out and create a cinematic scene. This is what happened to a Georgia woman named Angela Garmley when she filed a complaint against a judge after he demanded sex in exchange for legal favors. 

The story began when Garmley went to Judge Bryant Cochran to discuss an incident in which she had been assaulted by three individuals the day before. Instead of paying heed to her case, Cochran pried her on details of her divorce, disclosed that he needed a mistress, and let her know that he had "a real boner for her." Sexually harassing a person especially just after they were assaulted and told you their story? How romantic. *rolls eyes*

After a couple of exchanges in which Garmley sent him a photo in her underwear, she quickly filed the complaint that would wrongfully get her in trouble with the law. 

In an attempt to retaliate, Judge Cochran sent a couple of police officers to frame Garmley by planting methamphetamine in her truck and dispatched another group to arrest her. What this resulted in was the dismissal of two of the main culprits of the conspiracy, Capt. Michael Henderson and Deputy Josh Greeson, and the resignation of former judge Cochran, who is still under federal investigation. 

This situation involving Garmley was not the only one in which Cochran showed that he had a difficult time restraining himself and respecting others. A week before Garmley filed suit, three former employees at Magistrate Court by the names of Virginia Rector, Yesenia Galvan, and Sonya Petty had also filed a lawsuit against the judge. Rector similarly cited having been sexually harassed and touched inappropriately while Galvan and Petty said they had witnessed much of this sexual misconduct and had been subject to hearing Cochran make other inappropriate remarks about other women.  The fact that people such as Cochran feel as though they can abuse their power and act out without facing any consequences is beyond me. However, this story just reinforces the sad idea that even those who are entrusted with the power and responsibility to enforce the law or protect the people from injustice can sometimes be among some of the most crooked individuals.