A Superior Court Judge under fire for her handling of a rape case is now facing an misconduct complaint.
Four state senators from Middlesex County – Patrick Diegnan (D-South Plainfield), Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro), Robert Smith (D-Piscataway) and Joseph Vitale (D-Woodbridge) – today asked the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct to launch an immediate investigation into Judge Marcia Silva.
The senators also called for Silva’s immediate removal from the bench.
An appellate court overturned an earlier ruling by Silva that prevented prosecutors from charging an alleged 16-year-old rapist as an adult. The victim was 12.
Silva ruled that “beyond losing her virginity,” the State did not claim that the victim suffered any further injuries, either physical, mental or emotional.”
“Judge Silva’s conduct is reprehensible and indefensible,” the senators said. “We believe her opinion reflects such carelessly poor judgment that she should be removed, immediately, from her seat.”
The four senators said they have faith that the judicial conduct panel will move “with the urgency this conduct requires.”
“Our judicial system must be held to the highest ethical and professional standards. Faith in our courts is fundamental to our society and leaving Judge Silva in place after such a display of misjudgment hurts not only the confidence in Middlesex’s court system, but all of New Jersey,” Diegnan, Greenstein, Smith and Vitale said. “Her behavior is unacceptable, it cannot be tolerated and therefore, we urge the judicial branch to take immediate corrective action.”
Silva, a former assistant Middlesex County prosecutor, was the Republican candidate for State Assembly in 2011. She ran 4,717 votes behind Diegnan.
Gov. Chris Christie nominated her to the bench in 2014. She is not up for a tenure vote until January 2021.