NJ Supreme Court sanctions judges for remarks in sex assault cases

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

The New Jersey Supreme Court has taken action against two judges over their comments in cases involving sexual assault.

The state Supreme Court has recommended that John Russo Jr. be removed from the bench.

Russo is accused of asking a woman during a 2016 hearing if she could have closed her legs to prevent a sexual assault.

Russo will have a chance to offer evidence before a panel to contest his removal.

RELATED: Lawyer: Judge sorry for telling woman to 'close your legs' to prevent assault 

Also Wednesday, the court terminated the temporary assignment of a judge who declined to order a 16-year-old rape suspect tried in adult court because the youth came "from a good family."

James Troiano asked whether the suspect should face serious consequences over a video-recorded assault on an intoxicated teenager.

Troiano is retired but had been recalled to serve in Monmouth County.

New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner defended the decision. He says that 450 other New Jersey judges handled more than 800,000 cases each year the right way.

Gov. Phil Murphy also issued a statement, “New Jersey's judiciary has long been held up by observers across the nation as a model for other states."

"Unfortunately, the inexcusable actions of several judges over recent months have threatened this reputation for thoughtful and reasoned opinion, and common decency."

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report. 

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