A legislator from Superior Court Judge Marcia Silva’s hometown wants the embattled judge to step down.
“The comments made by Judge Silva and Judge (James) Troiano in their respective cases were sorely insensitive, injudicious and regrettably misinformed. They should immediately resign from their positions,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin (D-East Brunswick).
She served as East Brunswick Council President while Silva’s husband, David Stahl, was the mayor. Stahl was elected as a Democrat and switched parties to run for State Senate the year Pinkin won an Assembly seat.
Pinkin bemoaned the number of sexual assault and domestic violence victims who are failed by the judicial system.
“This incident underscores the need for more training of our court officers to arm them with the latest knowledge and understanding of best practices for handling such cases. I’ve been working to address this issue through legislation that establishes training for judges who deal with sexually violent offenses and domestic violence cases,” said Pinkin. “Courts should have the tools to identify and respond to the highly sensitive nuances of sexual assault and domestic violence cases in a manner that will provide fair and judicious consideration of cases and will protect victims and their families.”
Pinkin, who has introduced legislation that establishes training requirements for judges working on domestic violence and sexual assault cases, cited an estimate by the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault estimating more than 1.8 million survivors of sexual violence.
“We must ensure our society and our judicial system never turns a blind eye to sexual assault and domestic violence in New Jersey,” said Pinkin. “The fact remains we need a justice system that acknowledges the voice of all assault survivors, one that is fundamentally fair and one that is unprejudiced.”
On Wednesday, Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-Hillsborough) called Silva’s comments “egregious and incomprehensible.”
“Her decision displays archaic thinking as well as a failure to demonstrate compassion or understanding of who was the victim and who was the predator in this situation,” Freiman said. “It is without a doubt her decision making does not align with the high ethical standards our judicial system is known for and held to here in New Jersey. She has made an utter misjudgment that is far beyond unacceptable and deserves immediate corrective action. We cannot afford such inappropriate opinions to impact our residents’ faith in a justice system that is meant to work for them.”