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Suspended Family Court Judge’s Secretary Calls Threesome Rumors a Hoax, Despite Claims of Audible ‘Moaning and Grunting’

A secretary for a suspended family court judge in Kentucky has denied allegations of courthouse threesomes, calling the whole thing a ruse.

There are 12 misconduct charges pending in total against Family Court Judge Dawn Gentry in Kenton County. Some of these are pedestrian (retaliation for not supporting reelection campaign; falsifying timesheets, etc.) and some of them are as salacious as it gets. But according to Gentry’s secretary Laura Aubrey, who tearfully testified on Wednesday, evidence of what courthouse employees believed to be sexscapades was actually a hoax meant to counter existing rumors of threesomes.

The testimony before the Judicial Conduct Commission came after custodians and clerks “testified to alcohol containers found in Gentry’s chambers, singing and guitar playing, and moaning and grunting coming from the offices,” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, which has covered the wild story from the get-go. Aubrey said that rumors had been floating around of an affair involving herself, Gentry and Gentry’s former church pastor and bandmate-turned-courtroom case specialist Stephen Penrose.

So, what did they do?

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s account of Aubrey’s testimony, the trio jokingly made noises in order to give their haters “something to talk about”:

But there were rumors among courthouse workers of a tryst between Aubrey, Gentry and Penrose. And that’s why they decided one day in early 2019 to make noise, Aubrey said.

“I will tell you there were two occasions when the rumors got so ridiculous that, yes, we may have been laughing and kidding around and basically said, ‘they’re going to talk. Let’s give them something to talk about,” Aubrey said.

Witnesses testified that they heard moaning, grunting, and “strange music.” Aubrey denied that there was moaning, but did say Penrose was breathing heavily in a “high-pitched” way.

“It seemed to me laughter was the only thing that could get us through it,” she said, in an attempt to explain the trio’s actions.

Gentry has admitted that she had nude photos on her phone, photos that Penrose sent her. Yolonda Reis testified, however, that there was no sexual relationship between Gentry and Penrose.

“He was kind of obnoxious like that,” Reis said when asked if she thought Penrose would send nude photos to Gentry. “I think he thought an awful lot of himself.”

As Law&Crime reported in January, Gentry was suspended pending the outcome of Judicial Conduct Commission disciplinary hearings. Gentry faces a possible reprimand, or she could be kicked off the bench outright.

Claims against Gentry surfaced last year. She allegedly misused her power in a local panel meant to help child abuse victims. One of the former members of that panel Katherine Schulz said the judge once told her to seduce Gentry’s then-husband in exchange for career advancement. The judge also allegedly made another indecent proposal: for Schulz to have a threesome with her and Penrose.

Schulz described a bathroom kiss.

“It was like a sexy thing, like ‘I’m going to rule against you on your cases,’ ‘oh, this is a hot kind of thing.’ This has been an escalating thing. I didn’t resist her; I kissed her back,” Schulz said.

Besides the allegations of inappropriate sexual activity in the workplace, Gentry is accused of replacing former case specialist Meredith Smith with Penrose. Smith had allegedly been fired for not supporting the judge’s campaign enough.

Another attorney, Mike Hummel, alleged that he was taken off of the panel for not donating enough money to the judge’s campaign.

Gentry has denied the allegations against her. She is still receiving pay.

Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.

[Image via YouTube/screengrab]

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Matt Naham is managing editor of Law&Crime. He formerly worked as news editor and weekend editor at Rare.