A judge who suggested rape victims to “close her legs” and “call the police” was removed
A New Jersey Judge John Russo Jr. was dismissed due to "repeated and serious acts of misconduct" in relation to women who were victims of sexual violence.
Chief Justice Stuart J. Rabner identified several egregious precedents of unprofessionalism on the part of a judge who shocked a rape victim.
During the trial in 2016, Russo Jr. asked the plaintiff, who stated that she had been raped, "Do you know how to stop somebody from having intercourse with you?" The judge then forced the alleged victim to list all sorts of ways to avoid sexual intercourse with a rapist and added “Block your body parts? Close your legs? Call the police? Did you do any of those things?”
According to former Ocean County Superior Court Judge John Russo, such interrogation tactics should have helped the plaintiff to “get her re-engaged in the hearing.”
"Respondent’s explanation does not square with the record," Rabner wrote. "Judges set the tone for a courtroom. Especially when it comes to sensitive matters like domestic violence and sexual assault, that tone must be dignified, solemn, and respectful, not demeaning or sophomoric."
In three other cases, which were regarded as “inappropriate,” Russo was convicted of using his status in his son's guardianship case. According to court documents, the former judge set the dates for the hearing as it would be convenient for him.
In yet another case, Russo reduced the defendant's amount from $ 10,000 to $ 300 because he was personally acquainted with him, reports NBC News.