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New Lawsuit Accuses Former New York Supreme Court Justice of Sexual Assault, Harassment

— July 21, 2021

Former state Supreme Court Justice Matthew Rosenbaum allegedly coerced his secretary into having sex with him, saying he would take away her child if she did not acquiesce.

A recently filed federal lawsuit alleges that former New York state Supreme Court Justice Matthew Rosenbaum allegedly forced his office secretary to perform sexual acts dozens of times.

According to The Democrat and Chronicle, the complaint further alleges that, when the secretary filed a complaint with the Office of Court Administration, her allegations were largely ignored.

In her lawsuit, the anonymous assistant said that Rosenbaum forced her to have sex with him—in his official chambers—multiple times between 2006 and 2009. Rosenbaum purportedly abused his office to ensure his secretary gave into his demands, telling her that she would her job if she refused.

The complaint also states that Rosenbaum said he would intervene in the secretary’s divorce proceedings to ensure she did not get custody of her minor son if she did not do want he asked.

While the woman stopped “acquiescing” to Rosenbaum’s demands after 2009, he continued to sexually harass her for another decade.

Gavel resting on open book; image by verkeorg, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.
Gavel resting on open book; image by verkeorg, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.

Rosenbaum, adds the Chronicle, stepped down from his posting in January 2020, after reaching an agreement with the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct.

In his agreement with the CJC, the Commission found that Rosenbaum had—at the very least—made “abusive” demands of his office assistant. However, the Commission did not uncover or note any further sexual impropriety.

When resigning, Rosenbaum did not admit to wrongdoing, and the Commission did not go into detail about the specific allegations levied against him.

However, Rosenbaum’s surprise resignation did trigger a large-scale investigation.

“The matter against Judge Rosenbaum was of such magnitude that, notwithstanding his resignation, it was important to make sure he would never return to the bench,” Commission Administrator and Counsel Robert Tembeckjian said at the time.

Tembeckjian also appears to have defended the Commission’s approach to its investigation.

“The Commission’s mandate is to hold judges accountable for ethical misconduct and ensure in egregious cases that they leave the bench and never return. That is what happened with Judge Rosenbaum. He decided to resign, and we made it permanent. Statutorily, our authority ended at that point, but other agencies may investigate further and take additional action as warranted,” he said.

An attorney for Rosenbaum said that, since the former judge has yet to receive a copy of the lawsuit, he is unable to offer comment on its particulars.

“Since no legal documents have been delivered to Mr. Rosenbaum, it is impossible to comment on the specifics of the suit,” the attorney said in a Tuesday statement. “That said, as we have read in media reports, the allegations made involved (the aide’s) period of time as an employee, it would not be proper to make any comments on what appear to be employment issues.”


Former NY State Supreme Court Judge Allegedly Forced Secretary Into Sex Acts: Lawsuit

Lawsuit alleges former judge Rosenbaum demanded sex from secretary, complaints went ignored by court system

Lawsuit: Former judge Matthew Rosenbaum forced assistant into sex acts

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