Judge accused of misconduct for asking alleged rape victim if she closed her legs
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A complaint filed against a New Jersey judge alleges he broke conduct rules by asking a female victim if she closed her legs to stop a sexual assault.

New Jersey's Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct filed four complaints on Monday accusing Superior Court Judge John F. Russo Jr. of being discourteous and mistreating an alleged rape victim, the local Asbury Park Press reported Tuesday. 


One of the complaints alleges that Russo asked a woman seeking a restraining order if she kept her legs closed in order to prevent an alleged sexual assault.

Russo reportedly made the comment in 2016 during a hearing.

The woman alleged during the hearing that a man physically and verbally abused her, threatened to burn her house down, stole from her, threatened to take her daughter away and forced her to have sex with him against her will, BuzzFeed reported on Thursday.

Russo asked the woman how she would “stop somebody from having intercourse with you.”

The woman said she would try to physically harm her attacker, tell them no and try to leave.

Russo then asked her what she else she could have done to stop her assailant.

“Block your body parts? Close your legs? Call the police? Did you do any of these things?” Russo said, according to the court transcript.

Russo is also accused of trying to use his judicial office to influence scheduling of a personal legal matter, the Asbury Park Press reported.

Another allegation said Russo failed to recuse himself from a spousal support case between a couple he knew. 

He reportedly reduced his friends' back alimony to his ex-wife from $10,000 to $300.

The fourth and final allegation accused Russo of improperly having communications with only one of two parties in a paternity matter.

"We are pleased that Judge Russo will have a public hearing regarding the allegations which have been raised against him," said Russo's attorney, David F. Corrigan.

Russo will remain on paid leave, as he has been since April after he was barred from his judicial duties, the Asbury Park Press reported. The paper reported his pay is $165,000 annually.

He reportedly refused to submit to a mental health evaluation ordered by another judge after his law clerk claimed he threw a file at her and treated his employees poorly.

He allegedly made threatening or bizarre statements, flew into explosive fits of rage and was extremely immature, including displaying the “poop" emoji in his chambers.

Russo in return sued his presiding judges, accusing them of workplace discrimination.