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Lawsuit: Former state judge forced aide into sex acts

July 20, 2021 GMT

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A former state Supreme Court justice in Rochester has been accused in a lawsuit of forcing a female secretary into sex acts in his office dozens of times.

The lawsuit claims that between 2006 and 2009, Justice Matthew Rosenbaum forced the aide into sex acts multiple times in his chambers at the Monroe County courthouse. The woman claimed he told her that she needed to comply with his demands to keep her job. The lawsuit also alleges an instance of rape at her home after work hours in 2006.

The lawsuit also alleges that when she was in the middle of divorce proceedings in 2005, Rosenbaum told her she should comply with his demands “if she wanted to retain custody of her minor son.”

The suit also names the Monroe County Supreme Court and the Office of Court Administration among the defendants. The lawsuit alleges that she alerted court management about Rosenbaum, but was told little could be done.

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An attorney for Rosenbaum said Tuesday he had no immediate comment. A spokesperson for the Office of Court Administration said “as we haven’t officially been served it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.”

Rosenbaum stepped down from the bench Dec. 31, 2019, after reaching an agreement with New York’s watchdog agency for judges. The complaint before the state Commission on Judicial Conduct said that Rosenbaum had made unspecified “abusive personal demands of court staff” and created a hostile work environment. Rosenbaum did not admit to any wrongdoing in that case.