Columbia, S.C. (AP) -
A retired judge drew 1-1/2 years in prison for awarding a woman child support and custody of her child in exchange for sex. The woman's lawyer, who arranged the trysts, got a two-year sentence and a $1,500 fine from by Circuit Judge Thomas Cooper. Former Family Court Judge Sam Mendenhall, who retired in 1992, pleaded guilty Monday to misconduct. The lawyer, Samuel Fewell, pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Mendenhall, 54, and Fewell, 58, are former state legislators. Dorothy Carpenter said Mendenhall awarded her custody and child support in 1983 and 1984 in exchange for sex. Carpenter said she also had sex with Fewell in exchange for legal services but fired him in 1985 after he and the judge grew too demanding. Carpenter, who is facing unrelated arson charges, filed a complaint against Mendenhall and Fewell in 1991 with the state Supreme Court, which oversees the judicial system. She said her lawyer in the arson case urged her to file the complaint. Carpenter is charged with conspiracy in connection with a 1991 fire in her Clover home that killed two people. The case is pending. Fewell's sentence will run concurrently with a 2 1/2-year federal sentence he received in March for cocaine possession and tax evasion.