Former Judge Who Was Accused Of Disgustingly Groping And Violating A Women Claimed In Testimony “It Was Just An Accident”

This makes me sick.

613 points

According to a report from the New Jersey Monitor, one former municipal court judge who was accused and criminally convicted two years ago on charges of molesting a woman in his law office recently delivered testimony during a disciplinary hearing, in which he now claims that the physical contact he made with the accuser was accidental and embarrassing for him — and not the intentional, violating groping his victim described through tears during her recount of the stomach-churning events.

During her testimony, the victim of the sexual assault told the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct that she worked as the office and billing manager for one of Nino F. Falcone’s clients, and had paid a visit to the now ex-judge’s office in her capacity as such. She testified to the committee that Falcone pulled her into a hug to mark the celebration of her birthday. It was during that hug that she alleges Falcone rubbed her back and proceeded to brush and squeeze her breast.

The victim states that the then-judge grabbed a hold of her wrist when she began to object and stated to the woman, “let me touch you, let me play with you.” He then, allegedly, pulled out his wallet to offer her “birthday money.”

The accuser who was identified in court paperwork, as well as the virtual hearing only as A.C., testified, “I felt disgusted. I felt violated.”

The report notes that Falcone’s victim fled from the judge’s office and got in touch with Teaneck police to report the sexual assault that night. A few weeks later, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office secretly recorded a phone conversation between the victim and the then-judge, in which Falcone himself acknowledged the “inappropriate” touching and went on to repeatedly apologize to the woman.

In September of 2019, Falcone was arrested on charges of criminal sexual contact. He eventually completed a diversionary, pretrial intervention, rehabilitative program meant for first-time offenders.

However, despite him acknowledging the assault during the phone call with the accuser, and going on to be charged with the crime, Falcone blatantly denied almost all of the victim’s testimony during yesterday’s hearing, stating, “Her version of the facts are not my version of the facts.”

“It was not premeditated, and it was not for any personal gratifications or malice on my part. It was just an accident,” he testified to the committee on Wednesday.

Falcone was appearing before the committee to respond to the complaint back in June that he “demeaned the judicial office” and “impugned the integrity of the Judiciary.”

Ultimately, the hearing spanned a total of three hours and a decision was never reached. However, even if a disciplinary decision were reached, it would serve little to no public impact against Falcone, who retired from his North Bergen part-time judicial position in August of 2020. He had served in the position since 1987.

Falcone’s attorney, Jeff Garrigan, cross-examined the victim, during which he questioned whether the now-former judge’s hand merely slipped and came into unintentional contact with her breast during the hug, or if she herself initiated the hug, as Falcone claims.

“Seriously? Seriously?” the woman responded to the question.

She went on to testify that Falcone attempted to contact her by phone numerous times following the incident, a move she assumed was his attempt to bribe her into silence.

“Why else would he call my office?” she stated.

In one of those calls, she told the committee that Falcone tried to criticize and victim blame her by exclaiming, “Why didn’t you smack me? Why didn’t you kick me in the ass?”

During the hearing, Falcone vehemently denied his accuser’s recount of the events and went on to claim that he very rarely ever makes physical contact with anyone in his professional capacity. He went on to explain that a hug, in this specific instance, was a mistake and he was unable to explain why he chose to participate in one.

“It should never have happened. There should never have been an embrace, there should never have been a hug, because that’s not what I do,” he stated.

You can read the full report from the New Jersey Monitor here.

Featured image via screen capture/New Jersey Courts

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613 points