‘Close Your Legs’: Judge Who Advised Sexual Assault Victim Permanently Removed From Bench
A New Jersey judge was permanently banned from the bench Tuesday after he advised a sexual assault victim to “close your legs.”
New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously decides to remove Ocean County Superior Court Judge John Russo Jr who asked victim of rape if she could have “closed her legs” while attacked to stop rape has been permanently removed for “repeated&serious acts of misconduct” @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/aXgXbOR5BN
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) May 26, 2020
The New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously approved the decision to remove state Superior Court Judge John Russo Jr. on Tuesday, citing “repeated and serious acts of misconduct,” according to Time.
The Supreme Court justices had recommended that Russo be removed last summer which was agreed upon in January of this year by a three-judge panel. Russo appealed the removal and had been on unpaid suspension. (RELATED: Christian Cooper Wants Death Threats Against Woman Who Called Cops On Him For No Reason To Stop)
Russo expressed his regrets in court filings from a hearing in December and argued that the Supreme Court’s penalty was excessive because the advisory panel originally ordered only a three-month unpaid suspension, according to Time.
In 2016 a woman appeared in court seeking a restraining order against a man she claimed sexually assaulted her. The woman described her encounter with the man to which Russo asked if she knew “how to stop somebody from having intercourse with you.”
The woman answered yes and said a possibility was to run away, according to Time. Russo said “Close your legs? Call the police? Did you do any of those things?” Russo also reportedly made comments to staffers about the exchange after the woman left the courtroom.
The panel noted that his testimony about two of his allegations “lacked candor, fabricated after-the-fact explanations for events, and displayed a lack of integrity that is unworthy of judicial office.”