March 24, 2023

Who Is Judge James Troiano (New Jersey Judge Who Granted leniency to a 16-year-old Rape Suspect) Wiki, Bio, Age, Family, Petition

Judge James Troiano

James Troiano is a New Jersey Superior Court Judge who granted leniency to a 16-year-old from Monmouth County who is accused of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party and recording the sexual assault on video.

Judge James Troiano Age

James is 69 years old as of 2019.

James Troiano Education

James attended Rutgers University in New Jersey for his undergraduate studies graduating in 1972. He later joined the Cumberland School of Law of Stamford University in Alabama, graduating in 1975.

Judge James Troiano Republican

Troiano is a Republican having pursued a career in politics as a Republican in the 1980s. From 1987 to 1992 he served as councilman, deputy mayor and mayor in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. He was also a municipal prosecutor in Hillside, New Jersey, for four years from 1982 to 1986.

In 1982 he worked as Freeholder Vice President Legislative Aide, Essex County Arthur Clay. According to the Observer, he ran as a Republican for county executive in 1982, but he lost.

Judge James Troiano Family

James is married, although there are no available details about his wife. Together with his wife, they have two children; a son and daughter.

Judge James Troiano Son

Troiano’s son, Matthew James Troiano, is a former prosecutor in Morris County, New Jersey, who now works in private practice.

Judge James Troiano New Jersey

James was appointed to the New Jersey Superior Court in 1992 and obtained tenured status in 1999. He retired in 2011 but was recalled to work on some cases in 2012. His recall has been re-confirmed every two years since then, including in December 2018. His current recall will end in 2021.

Judge James Troiano of Superior Court

In 2018 Troiano ruled against prosecutors who sought to try a 16-year-old from Monmouth County who is accused of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party and recording the sexual assault on video, as an adult.

The suspect who is only identified as G.M.C was charged in 2017 when he was 16 years old. According to the court documents, the victim was at a “pyjama-themed party” with about 30 other adolescents in the basement of a home and alcohol was consumed. According to prosecutors, G.M.C raped the victim and filmed himself on his cell phone and then sent the video clip to several friends the next day with the message, “when your first time having sex was rape.”

In September 2017, after the victim, identified only as ‘Mary’ in court documents and her family pursued criminal charges, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office recommended the case be submitted for an involuntary waiver to adult court. The prosecutor said;

“[G.M.C.’s] conduct as it relates to the charged offences was both sophisticated and predatory. He was aware of the off-limits areas in advance of the party. At the time he led [Mary] into the basement gym, she was visibly intoxicated and unable to walk without stumbling. For the duration of the assault, the lights in the gym remained off and the door was barred by a foosball table. Filming a cell phone video while committing the assault was a deliberate act of debasement. And, in the months that followed, he lied to [Mary] while simultaneously disseminating the video and unabashedly sharing the nature of his conduct therein. This was neither a childish misinterpretation of the situation, nor was it a misunderstanding. [G.M.C.’s] behaviour was calculated and cruel. This level of criminal sophistication warrants the elevation of this case via an involuntary waiver to the adult criminal court.”

Judge James conducted a “several-day waiver hearing” and presented a denial of the waiver. He said he did not think the prosecutors showed that the case deserved to be tried in adult court and ruled they made an error in judgment by pursuing the waiver.

He said; “[T]here have been some, not many, but some cases of sexual assault involving juveniles which in my mind absolutely were the traditional case of rape, all right, where there were generally two or more generally males involved, either at gunpoint or weapon, clearly manhandling a person into . . . an area where . . . ther was nobody around, sometime in an abandon[ed] house, sometimes in an abandon[ed] shed, shack, and just simply taking advantage of the person as well as beating the person, threatening the person. . . . [T]he factual scenarios themselves were so egregious, and it was those types of cases that the State felt the need to waive, and generally they were successful in their waiver[.]”

Judge Jame Candidate for Good College

In his ruling against the waiver, Judge James Troiano claimed that “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 a good college. His scores for college entry were very high.”

He also downplayed the text sent by G.M.C to his friends after the incident saying; “to me just a 16-year-old saying stupid crap to his friends.”

Appeals court judges Judge Carmen Alvarez and Judge Hany Mawla rebuked his decision saying; “The likelihood of conviction was not for the judge to decide on a waiver motion. His skeptical scrutiny of G.M.C.’s friend, who said the video depicted Mary’s head banging against a wall, the victim’s credibility, and the motives and conduct of the victim’s family went beyond review of the prosecutor’s decision for abuse of discretion. The judge also accorded great weight to the fact that G.M.C. might have reasonably believed that Mary wanted to engage in sexual intercourse—without taking into consideration her level of intoxication— essentially accepting G.M.C.’s defense theory as would the finder of fact at trial. Rather than focusing on whether the prosecutor’s consideration of the statutory factors supported the application, the judge decided the case for himself.”

The judges added; “In denying waiver, the trial court minutely considered the circumstances of the offense, made an independent assessment of the juvenile’s culpability, and considered G.M.C.’s prior good character and “the input of the victim or the victim’s family. His consideration of these elements, however, sounded as if he had conducted a bench trial on the charges rather than neutrally reviewed the State’s application.

G.M.C. was sixteen at the time the event occurred. That the juvenile came from a good family and had good test scores we assume would not condemn the juveniles who do not come from good families and do not have good test scores from withstanding waiver applications. … The State’s memorandum addressed every statutory element. The prosecutor’s decision was patently not one that the judge would have reached, but that is not the test. The test is whether the State, which obviously believed Mary’s description of the events to the minimum level necessary for the filing of charges, was mistaken in its judgment. The memorandum in support of waiver did not consider any irrelevant factors, only those included in the statute. The decision to seek waiver did not amount to a clear error in judgment.”

Judge James Devastating Effect’ on The Suspect’s Life

Troiano also said that prosecutors didn’t “focus clearly on both sides here,” interpreting a state court decision to mean that in deciding whether to pursue a waiver, prosecutors must consider the impact of moving the case to adult court on both the victim and the suspect. He said his concerns were that the prosecutor didn’t explain “to Mary and her mother the devastating effect a waiver could have on G.M.C.’s life.”

He also questioned why the victim decided to wait a few days to pursue criminal charges. The court documents said that the victim and her family initially just wanted the video to be deleted by those who received it and to move on from the incident, but changed their minds. By the time they pursued charges, police had told the suspect and his friends to delete the video from their phones.

“We have no testimony of the young lady, but we will at some point, I presume, have testimony of the young lady explaining why she decided or went to her mother who decided a couple of days later that we need to go to the police and discuss criminal charges. There wasn’t a mention at that point of what type of criminal charges, to just discuss criminal charges. … [I]t’s not impossible for the [c]ourt to think that once the video is deleted it’s a lot easier to bring the criminal charges. But I’m only . . . speculating, okay. All I know is they waited until . . . they were reasonably convinced that the video was deleted that they decided to go to explore their options.”

He also questioned the reliability of the victim as she was intoxicated and he said that maybe she was intoxicated to the point that she didn’t understand what was going on.

“And it seems clear that this young lady, the alleged victim here, and I call her the alleged victim here … Some people would argue that, you know, really what did . . . she drink and how could she possibly have gotten as drunk as she says she was. That’s really not important. I think it’s an issue here, whether or not this young lady was intoxicated to the point that she didn’t understand what was going on. Her position really has been that she doesn’t remember much of what happened.

I really saw nothing that stood out to me that would substantiate that she was led into the back. The terms that were used were they walked hand in hand. Now, I’m not saying that this young lady was not under the influence. I don’t know whether she was extremely intoxicated or not, but no question she was under the influence.”

Judge James Troiano Petition

There are two separate petitions that have been created advocating for Troiano to be removed from the court. People on Twitter also pointed out that he should never have been recalled to the court.