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Superior Court Judge Marcia Silva

Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct won’t seek to discipline Silva

Middlesex Judge faced fire after refusing to try alleged 16-year-old rapist as adult

By Nikita Biryukov, June 25 2020 5:34 pm

The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct will not launch disciplinary proceedings against Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Marcia Silva, who last year faced fire after refusing to try a 16-year-old who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl as an adult.

Silva ruled that she was unconvinced of any physical, mental or emotional injuries to the girl other than the loss of her virginity and denied a prosecutor’s request to try the alleged offender as an adult.

“In view of the Judge’s acknowledgment of her inappropriate choice of words and the fact that they were an integral part of her statement of reasons for denying waiver rather than a gratuitously offensive comment unrelated to the judicial decision-making process, a majority of the Committee has concluded that it should not initiate formal disciplinary proceedings against Judge Silva,” the ACJC said in a majority opinion issued Thursday.

The committee reached its decision after an informal conference with Silva during which the judge explained the reasoning behind the wording of her opinion, which was not meant to be made public.

“Had I ever imagined that it would be put out to the public, I certainly would have put in there what I’m telling you today, which is that every rape, including statutory rape of a 12-year-old, is heinous,” she said, per the ACJC decision.

More than 20 state lawmakers called for Silva’s resignation after the opinion was made public last July.

Four of the committee’s members issued a dissenting opinion that called for the matter to be heard in a more formal, public setting.

“In our view, this type of case should be heard and resolved through a public hearing that includes testimony and cross-examination, not following a private, informal conference,” the dissenters said.

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