Former Bergen County Judge and Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano is being sued in federal court for allegedly sexually assaulting a man during his time on the bench.
Charles Corbishley filed suit in the New York Southern District court on Thursday and alleged that Napolitano “forcibly sodomized and sexually assaulted” him. Since Napolitano lives in New York, Corbishley is legally allowed to file the lawsuit there even though his alleged claims relate to an occurrence in New Jersey. Corbishley is asking for $10 million in damages.
According to the suit, Corbishley was facing arson charges in November of 1987. He hired criminal defense attorney Robert Hollis, who was at the time running a national prostitution ring. Hollis later pleaded guilty to federal money laundering charges in relation to the prostitution ring and was later disbarred.
Corbishley said in the suit that after hiring Hollis, the case was transferred to Napolitano’s court and he was instructed to plead guilty. He said in the lawsuit that Hollis arranged for him to meet with Napolitano at a residence in Hackensack in December of 1988.
In the suit, Corbishley, who was 20 at the time, said he was told to bring a snow shovel and a Christmas card and when he got there, he was told to shovel the driveway which he found “peculiar because the driveway already had been shoveled.”
He said in the lawsuit that Napolitano came outside dressed in a long trench coat and made small talk before saying “you know, you could be going away for a long time.” According to the suit, Napolitano pushed Corbishley to his knees and told him to “be a good boy.”
The lawsuit states: “Charles Corbishley was then forced to perform fellatio on the Honorable Andrew Napolitano, the presiding Justice on his criminal case.”
Corbishley said that he wanted to stop but was “terrified about what Judge Napolitano would do to him if he resisted or fought back.”
According to the suit, Corbishley spoke to Hollis two days later and he ”knew exactly what had happened between Judge Napolitano and Mr. Corbishley” and said “something to the effect that ‘we both have him now, and ‘don’t worry about anything.’”
Corbishley said that after the alleged assault two of his criminal charges were dismissed and the top charge amended before Napolitano imposed a lenient sentence of five years’ probation and 150 hours community service for criminal charges of arson, burglary of a motor vehicle and aggravated arson. His co-defendant received a sentence of several years in prison for committing the same crimes.
According to the suit, Napolitano also ordered that any future violations of probation by Corbishley would be brought directly to him. Corbishley violated his probation at least five times. Hollis filed for the probation to be terminated and Napolitano granted it even after weapons and narcotics charges had been filed, according to the lawsuit.
Corbishley alleges that Napolitano recently reached out to law enforcement authorities and made completely false criminal accusations against him in both New Jersey and where he now lives in South Carolina to intimidate him and prevent him from filing this suit.
According to the suit, Corbishley “has suffered and will continue to suffer great pain of mind and body, severe and permanent emotional distress, and physical manifestations of emotional distress.”
The suit accused Napolitano of sexual assault, assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Napolitano served as the Superior Court judge in Bergen County from 1987 to 1995. The youngest state judge ever granted lifetime tenure, he left the bench at age 44 in part because he felt that state Superior Court judges were not paid adequately for the work they do and should be allowed to accept outside income. He has since worked in private practice and now works as a legal analyst for Fox News.
“These accusations are completely false. Full stop,” Napolitano said in a statement released by his attorney, Tom Clare. “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.”
Fox News also issued a statement: “Judge Napolitano has assured us in the strongest possible terms that these allegations are false and he will fight them aggressively in court.”