A Phoenix judge ordered Wednesday that court proceedings involving a county supervisor's wife accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy be open to the public and members of the news media.
Maricopa County Judge Robert Olson issued the order following an objection to open proceedings by 48-year-old Susan Brock's attorney, who noted the case has drawn the attention of national media outlets.
"It's going to taint possible jurors," attorney Theron Hall III told the judge.
Prosecutor Jason Holmberg had no objection to media coverage, telling the judge it's a public courtroom and attorneys vet jurors for potential bias before they are selected for trial.
Brock, wife of Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock, was arrested in October and pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual conduct with a minor, molestation of a child, furnishing obscene materials to minors and public sexual indecency.
Olson also rescheduled an initial pretrial conference from Wednesday to Feb. 7.
Brock was in court Wednesday, shackled and wearing a black and white jail uniform. She did not speak during the proceeding, which two family members attended.
Fulton Brock has filed for a divorce from his wife, and said in an earlier statement that he was stunned by his wife's arrest and the allegations against her.
"You think you know someone after 28 years," the statement said. "I want so much to believe these allegations are not true, but if they are, I am appalled and crushed."
The teenage boy, who was 14 when the alleged abuse started and is now 17, told police that Susan Brock would pick him up at school or home and drive him to secluded areas where they would have sexual contact in her car, although there was no intercourse.
Brock reportedly provided the boy with cell phones, and police seized text messages purportedly recording exchanges of a sexual nature between the boy and Brock. Authorities say Susan Brock also helped the boy meet his girlfriend and provide places where the young couple could have sex.
The couple's daughter, Rachel Brock, was arrested last month after police accused her of sexual misconduct with the same boy Susan Brock is charged with abusing over a three-year period. Rachel Brock was released after the Pinal County Attorney's Office declined to charge her and requested more information about the case. Chandler police were working on fulfilling that request and continue to investigate Rachel Brock.
Rachel Brock has not returned calls or e-mails seeking comment.