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Pinkin Statement on NJ Superior Court Judges’ Insensitive Comments

Assemblywoman Sponsored Legislation to Establish Training for Court Officers

After recent inappropriate comments from two New Jersey Superior Court Judges in connection with separate sexual assault cases involving minors, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin (D-Middlesex) responded with the following statement:

“The comments made by Judge Silva and Judge Troiano in their respective cases were sorely insensitive, injudicious and regrettably misinformed. They should immediately resign from their positions.

“Sadly, too many victims of sexual assault or domestic violence are failed by a judicial system they hoped would protect them. 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. 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.

“New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault estimates that our state is home to over 1.8 million survivors of sexual violence. In 2016, New Jersey State Police reported over 63,000 instances of domestic violence. We must ensure our society and our judicial system never turns a blind eye to sexual assault and domestic violence in New Jersey. 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.”

Assemblywoman Pinkin has already sponsored two bills, A317 which seeks to implement training requirements for judges and judicial personnel working on domestic violence cases, and A5690 which establishes training for judges on the dynamics of sexually violent offenses with a focus on how it impacts survivors and families. The first bill passed the full Assembly 74-0 on May 24, 2018 and the second bill was introduced on June 24, 2019.