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Ex-Judge Andrew Napolitano, the Fox News legal analyst, is facing a $10 million civil lawsuit lodged by a man who claims the was forced to perform a sex act on him in December 1988.
The encounter was allegedly a quid pro quo for a lenient sentence in a case that was pending in Napolitano’s New Jersey courtroom.
In a statement on behalf of the judge, Fox News said that “Judge Napolitano has assured us in the strongest possible terms that these allegations are false and he will fight them aggressively in court,” NJ.com reported.
The lawsuit which is embedded below filed by plaintiff and former New Jersey resident Charles Corbishley in Manhattan federal court accuses Napolitano of sexual assault under New Jersey law (under an extension of the state’s statute of limitations), assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The legal filing also claims that the judge went to law enforcement authorities with a fabricated story that Corbishley threatened him physically to discourage Corbishley from pursuing a lawsuit.
You can review the complaint and the allegations and draw your own conclusions, keeping in mind that a lawsuit is just a one-sided, unproven presentation of what it considers the facts in play before the other side gets to respond, but also be advised that the content is graphic.
Corbishley, then age 20, was facing arson charges in a case presided over by Napolitano when his lawyer allegedly told him that he was friends with the judge and “I can take care of your case now.”
The lawyer allegedly arranged for Corbishley to shovel snow at Napolitano’s Hackensack, N.J., residence. When he got there, however, the snow was already removed from the driveway and around the house.
At that point, according to the lurid allegations in the lawsuit, Judge Napolitano allegedly engaged in dialogue with Corbishley outside the home, telling the younger man that he “could be going away for a long time.” He then put his hand on the young man’s shoulder, pushed him toward the ground and told him to “be a good boy.”
That’s when the sex act allegedly occurred.
The lawsuit describes what was going through Corbishley’s mind.
At this moment, Plaintiff was paralyzed with fear. He wanted desperately to stop Defendant NAPOLITANO’s sexual assault, but he was terrified about what Judge Napolitano would do to him if he resisted or fought back. Based on the power disparity between Judge Napolitano and Corbishley, it was impossible for Plaintiff CHARLES CORBISHLEY to have ‘consented’ to any sexual activities with NAPOLITANO.
Corbishley subsequently pled guilty to the arson-related charges, receiving a sentence of community service and probation one on charge, while two others were dismissed, an outcome that the lawsuit claims was highly unusual.
This sentence was exceptionally light, given the serious nature of the underlying criminal charges — arson, burglary of a motor vehicle, and aggravated arson — as well as Plaintiff’s prior juvenile arson charge.
“A later slate of criminal charges–in violation of his probation–were also more or less extinguished,” Law & Crime claimed.
In a statement via his attorney Judge Napolitano declared that the charges are totally unfounded:
“These accusations are completely false. Full stop. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes, at any time, to anyone, for any reason. I have never had any personal relationship or inappropriate contact or communication of any kind with the man making this accusation. Each and every one of his claims against me are pure fiction. Period.”
Attorney Tom Clare added that the plaintiff “is a career criminal with a 25-year-long criminal record that includes arson, battery, unlawful weapons possession, credit card fraud, possession of stolen property, and drug distribution. It should be of grave concern to all judges and the other dedicated public officials who administer our criminal justice system that, decades after a routine criminal case, a former criminal defendant can, with no evidence, threaten to damage reputations and careers with these kinds of false and incendiary allegations. Judge Napolitano has had a long and distinguished career as a lawyer, jurist, television commentator and author,” The Daily Beast reported.
Formerly supportive of the president, the libertarian-leaning judge went Never Trump after the release of the Mueller report and subsequently during the impeachment process. In April 2019, President Trump claimed that Napolitano changed his tune because the president declined to nominate him for the U.S. Supreme Court.
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