A New Jersey judge who told a woman who said she was raped to “close your legs” is now “remorseful” as he faces a possible suspension, according to his lawyer.
Judge John Russo Jr. made a series of callous comments as he was presiding over the 2016 case in which the woman was seeking a restraining order from her attacker.
“Do you know how to stop somebody from having intercourse with you?” Russo asked the woman, according to a transcript from the state’s judicial conduct complaint.
“Block your body parts,” Russo suggested. “Close your legs? Call the police? Did you do any of those things?”
The complaint said Russo was “discourteous and mistreated the victim.”
During a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, Russo’s attorney Amelia Carolla said Russo has “learned his lesson” and is “remorseful,” according to The Associated Press.
An ethics committee has suggested that Russo ― who has been on administrative leave since 2017 ― should be suspended without pay for three months.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.