A New Jersey judge has received death threats after his remarks urging leniency for a teen accused of sexual assault because he came from “a good family” were made public, according to The New York Times.
In 2017, Judge James Troiano, denying requests by prosecutors to try the 16-year-old as an adult, wrote that the defendant “comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well.”
The teen was accused of recording himself sexually assaulting an intoxicated 16-year-old girl and sending the video to friends with the caption “when your first time is rape.”
The unsealing of the comments in connection with an appeals court decision has led to widespread outrage, including calls for his resignation or disbarment and a protest scheduled to take place at Monmouth County Superior Court later this week, according to the Times.
In addition to the public condemnation, Troiano has reportedly received threats including an email expressing hope that a family member be raped by a man “stronger than you,” according to the Times.
Much of the condemnation has asserted that Troiano’s comments were indicative of a two-tiered justice system that favors wealth and class privilege.
“It is such an elitist, classic outlook on life,” New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) told the Times. “It’s amazing to me that somebody could have grown up, gone to law school, become qualified to become a judge and could have possibly uttered something like this.”
Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerLawmakers gear up for spending bill, infrastructure votes Booker: End of police reform negotiations a 'frustrating experience' Sunday shows - All eyes on spending votes MORE (D-N.J.), a presidential candidate, has also condemned Troiano, saying in a statement, “Not only should this judge no longer serve — as he is clearly incapable of properly fulfilling his duties — but across the country, we must call out bad actors in the system, exposing their biases, and show women and survivors that we will doggedly pursue justice on their behalf,” according to the Times.