Yet another state lawmaker called for the removal of two embattled judges facing fire over comments made during sexual assault cases.
“Judges Silva and Troiano must go. Their moral stances exhibited in their comments toward parties in both cases are absolutely unacceptable and unfitting for any officer of the court to make,” Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds Jackson said. “For Judge Silva to even utter that a child of 12 who was sexually assaulted did not suffer ‘especially serious harm’ and the act was not ‘especially heinous or cruel’ is horrendous.”
Judge James Troiano refused to try as an adult a 16-year-old boy accused of raping 16-year-old girl and sending a videotape of the assault to his friends as an adult over worries that that doing so would imperil the alleged rapist’s future.
Judge Marcia Silva refused to try a 16-year-old boy accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl as an adult, ruling that the victim suffered no emotional, mental or physical harm past the loss of her virginity.
Both decisions were overturned by state appeals courts.
“Judge Troiano chose to commend an accused rapist for his grades instead of reprimanding him,” Reynolds Jackson said. “The fact that he comes from a good family and may be college bound does not diminish the serious accusation of rape against him.”
The number of lawmakers calling for the judges’ removal has grown dramatically since Silva’s ruling was reversed last week.
Reynolds Jackson’s call is was the third made Friday.
There’s little question about where legislative leaders stand on the issue.
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate President Steve Sweeny have both called for the judges to be removed.
Gov. Phil Murphy stopped short of doing the same but called their comments extremely troubling.
“We cannot allow this type of insensitive, self-righteous behavior from members of New Jersey’s judicial system,” Reynolds-Jackson said. “Corrective action must be taken immediately to ensure this never happens again to anyone.”