As much as I loathe the members of the Medical Industrial Complex I can only say that the members of the legal one are equally repugnant and once again are revered for reasons that I assume is that they spent a shit ton of money on a JD degree that entitled them to feel, well, entitled.
This is another story about another Judge who was an asshole. And every now and again they actually do get removed from the Bench. I like my Justice served on the side.
Jersey judge who told woman to ‘close her legs’ to avoid sexual assault removed from bench
By Theresa Braine
New York Daily News |
May 27, 2020 | 2:01 PM
A New Jersey judge who told a woman to “close her legs” to avoid sexual assault has been canned.
It wasn’t just the individual actions of state Superior Court Judge John Russo Jr. that got him removed from the bench. It was the pattern those actions demonstrated, the New Jersey Supreme Court found.
“His overall behavior reflects a lack of probity and fitness to serve as a judge,” state Supreme Court Justice Stuart Rabner wrote in the decision, according to the Asbury Park Press. “And his conduct breached the public’s trust. In light of respondent’s serious and repeated acts of misconduct, we are compelled to direct that respondent be removed from office.”
Russo, 57, a former mayor of Toms River and son of a now-deceased state senator, was already under a three-month suspension over the incidents that led to his dismissal, which included things like throwing a file at a law clerk, the Asbury Park Press said.
But the most telling incident was regarding a woman attempting to obtain a restraining order, alleging that her 5-year-old daughter’s father had threatened to kill her, sexually assaulted her and promised to burn down her house, the Asbury Park Press reported.
Then the judge lobbed his question.
“Do you know how to stop somebody from having intercourse with you?” he asked, according to the Associated Press. “Close your legs? Call the police? Did you do any of those things?”
Afterward he joked about the exchange to staffers, saying that the woman, who happened to be a former exotic dancer, “would know how to fend off unwanted sexual” advances, reported NJ.com. The remarks were picked up by the mic and became part of the record against Russo.
He ended up dismissing the woman’s attempt to get the order, as well, saying she was not credible, the Asbury Park Press said.
The state Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC) had already imposed the three-month suspension, reported NJ.com, but a separate three-judge panel recommended in January that Russo be removed entirely.
Also in the three-judge panel’s report was a matrimonial matter that Russo did not recuse himself from, even though he knew one of those involved, AP said.
Their report said his responses to the allegations overall “lacked candor, fabricated after-the-fact explanations for events, and displayed a lack of integrity that is unworthy of judicial office.”