Three more legislators have joined the growing demand for two Superior Court Judges under fire for their comments about two unconnected rape cases to resign.
“It is highly troubling that Marcia Silva and James Troiano were unable to understand the severity of the cases brought before them. Both judges were presented with appalling allegations of sexual assault yet refused to acknowledge the devastating impact of these offenses on the victims,” said Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-Franklin). “I categorically condemn the unprofessional conduct and disturbingly callous remarks of these judges. I call for their immediate removal from the bench.”
Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune) and Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold) slammed Troiano for his handling of a rape case in Monmouth County where the judge ruled that a 16-year-old suspect should be tried as an juvenile because he came from a good family.
“It should be clear to anyone that Judge Troiano’s comments were vile, unacceptable, and harmful to any survivor of sexual assault or abuse,” said Downey. “We cannot combat rape and sexual assault by normalizing these horrific behaviors. It’s disgusting that any judge would allow their consideration of a suspect’s supposed ‘good family’ and ‘promising future’ to let that person off lightly. In this alleged attack, the perpetrator violently assaulted a young woman’s well-being, personal autonomy, and her very sense of self. It’s the survivor’s needs that must be looked after, not the future success and glorification of a young man who allegedly decided that it was acceptable to sexually attack a female peer. Judge Troiano must resign, effective immediately, and forswear any future judicial or legal activity.”
Houghtaling called Troiano’s comments “absolutely unacceptable” and said that he should not be on the bench.
“In light of these comments, he should not make any decisions regarding cases involving sexual violence or similar circumstances,” Houghtaling said.
Danielsen said that “Troiano’s concern for the wellbeing of an accused rapist simply because he was a good student from a quality school should never have influenced his judgment.”
“Caring more about the future of a privileged alleged perpetrator than the violence inflicted upon his accuser is entirely unconscionable,” Danielson said. “Silva’s belief that the alleged rape of a 12-year-old was not ‘especially heinous or cruel’ completely ignores the reality of a child – who did not and could not consent – being violated by someone she thought she could trust. Rather than focus on the nature of this case, Silva ignored the actual issue in favor of making a point.”