Judge cited for asking if woman 'closed legs' to stop sexual assault

2018-03-29 09:31
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A judicial board accused a New Jersey judge of violating rules of conduct when he asked a woman during a court hearing if she tried closing her legs to prevent an alleged sexual assault.

State Superior Court Judge John Russo made the comment during a 2016 hearing on a restraining order the woman was seeking against a man she accused of forcing her to have sex.

According to a transcript contained in the complaint, when the woman described her encounter with the man, Russo asked her, "Do you know how to stop somebody from having intercourse with you?"

When the woman answered affirmatively and said one method would be to run away, Russo continued, "Close your legs? Call the police? Did you do any of those things?"

The complaint filed this week alleged Russo "mistreated the victim".

ALSO READ: SA-born judge told woman to 'keep her knees together' in rape trial

The panel also accused him of other instances of violating rules on judicial conduct, including ruling on an alimony case in which Russo acknowledged he knew both parties.

In that case, according to the complaint, Russo reversed an order by another judge who had issued a bench warrant for the man unless he paid $10 000 in back alimony. Russo ultimately reduced that to $300.

Russo's attorney said on Wednesday the judge looks forward to a hearing on the matter.

"Judge Russo looks forward to a public hearing in which he will be able to respond to the allegations against him," attorney David Corrigan said. "We have respect for the process as well as the advisory committee on judicial conduct, and therefore won't comment further."

Corrigan said he has 20 days to respond to the complaint, and that a hearing likely would not take place for several months.

Russo, who is assigned to Ocean County, has been on paid administrative leave since last year stemming from a separate matter.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    us  |  sexual assault  |  courts

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.