|Senator Vin Gopal (D-11) issued the following statement regarding the removal of Judge John F. Russo from the bench by the New Jersey state Supreme Court this Tuesday:
“Survivors of sexual assault deserve to be heard – not questioned and belittled by judges who ask if they attempted to ‘close [their] legs.’ John Russo’s actions were flagrantly inappropriate and ethically unacceptable, and I am glad that our state Supreme Court agreed that his repeated acts of misconduct rendered him incapable of passing judgement as an official of our courts. Our state can and must do better.”
Gopal previously issued a statement calling for the full removal of John Russo last year.
From the APP story:
A unanimous state Supreme Court Tuesday removed Superior Court Judge John F. Russo Jr. from the bench over misconduct that included asking an alleged rape victim if she kept her legs closed.
The decision brings to a close a protracted battle by the former mayor of Toms River and son of the late state Sen. John F. Russo Sr. to keep his seat on the bench.
Russo, appointed to the Superior Court bench in December 2015 after serving six years as an administrative law judge, first came under fire in April 2017, when he was accused of throwing a file at his law clerk. Other allegations soon came to the fore, including that he asked an alleged rape victim in a domestic violence case in 2016 if she tried to prevent the attack by keeping her legs closed.