A flick of the wrist has landed an Austin lawyer in jail for contempt of court. A judge sentenced defense attorney Adam Reposa to 90 days in jail on Tuesday for making a lewd gesture and simulating masturbation while standing before a County Court-at-Law judge in March.
At a contempt hearing Monday, Judge Jan Breland said Reposa, 33, rolled his eyes and looked at her while motioning with his right hand. Reposa said the gesture came from near his hip and was aimed at a prosecutor while discussing plea negotiations in a drunken driving case.
Reposa's attorney asked for a sentence of one day in jail.
Visiting State Judge Paul Davis, however, said it was his "honor to uphold the integrity of the judicial process" and sentenced Reposa to 90 days. The attorney was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.
Davis said he teaches a course on courtroom decorum to new judges and said such cases are very rare. He also noted that Reposa had fluctuated between apologizing for offending Breland and justifying his behavior as a zealous attorney defending a client.
In a closing argument, First Assistant County Attorney Randy Leavitt said Reposa's gesture was just the latest in a string of offensive behavior, which included calling prosecutors vulgar names in court.