Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge who now works as a columnist and legal analyst for Fox News, has been accused of sexual assault, NJ.com reported Saturday.
According to Law & Crime, the victim, a man who was 20 years old at the time, says he was “lured” into Napolitano’s home in New Jersey in 1988 “under false pretenses and forced him to perform oral sex.” At the time, Napolitano was presiding over a case involving the man, who, according to NJ.com, “was facing arson charges from a three-count indictment.”
The victim is now “seeking $10 million in damages,” NJ.com reports.
NJ.com reports that the lawsuit claims the victim was being legally represented in the arson case by attorney Robert Hollis, who said at the time that Napolitano was his “friend.”
“I can take care of your case now,” Hollis was said to have told his client after Napolitano was “abruptly” assigned to the case, according to NJ.com. The report said the victim was later asked to visit Napolitano’s home, “and to bring a Christmas card and a snow-shovel.”
When he arrived, the victim was told to shovel the driveway before the assault happened, the suit alleges.
After talking to the victim for a while, Napolitano discussed the alleged victim’s case, explaining that the counts potentially meant years in prison, the lawsuit said[.]
“You know, you could be going away for a long time,” Napolitano told the alleged victim, according to the lawsuit.
It was then that Napolitano put his hand on the man’s shoulder and forced him down to his knees, according to the lawsuit. […] The alleged victim was then forced to perform oral sex on Napolitano[.]
The lawsuit is reported to delve into the allegations in graphic detail.
Napolitano, for his part, has categorically denied the allegations, which he said “are completely false.”
“I have never done anything like what the accuser describes, at any time, to anyone, for any reason,” the Fox contributor said in a statement through his attorney, according to Law & Crime. “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, for its part, is also standing by its on-air talent.
“Judge Napolitano has assured us in the strongest possible terms that these allegations are false and he will fight them aggressively in court,” the network reportedly told Law & Crime.