FREEHOLD BOROUGH, N.J. - A New Jersey judge who said a teenage boy accused of rape deserved leniency because he came from a "good family" and got good grades has resigned.
Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James Troiano resigned Wednesday, the New Jersey Supreme Court announced. The resignation came after weeks of criticism from the public and death threats to Troiano's family, The New York Times reported.
In 2018, Troiano, 69, was called out of retirement to hear the case of an alleged rape involving teenagers at a party the previous year, The Washington Post reported. Police said a 16-year-old boy recorded cellphone video of himself sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. The boy allegedly sent the video to others with the caption, “When your first time having sex was rape.”
Both teens were intoxicated during the incident, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors in the case pushed for the teen to be tried as an adult, calling his alleged crime "sophisticated and predatory," CNN reported.
Troiano denied prosecutors' request. He wrote in his July 2018 decision that he didn't think the teen's actions were necessarily rape, because in "traditional" rape cases there are "two or more generally males involved, either at gunpoint or weapon, clearly manhandling a person."
Troiano further wrote, “This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well. He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college. His scores for college entry were very high.”
The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court reversed Troiano's decision in June, and sent the case back down for further judgement, CNN reported.
Monmouth County prosecutors are planning their next move in the case.
"While we have the utmost respect for the Family Court and the judge in this case, we are grateful that the Appellate Division agreed with our assessment that this case met the legal standards for waiver to Superior Court," Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a statement. "As with all cases, we are assessing our next steps, which will include discussions with the victim and her family."