Judge tries to defend 'close your legs' comment

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A New Jersey family court judge who told a woman she could "close your legs" to stop a sexual assault says he was trying to elicit more details from her.

Judge John Russo on Wednesday appeared before a committee on judicial conduct that is reviewing four counts of judicial misconduct against Russo.

The woman appeared before Russo in 2016 seeking a restraining order against a man who she claimed forced her to have sex. Russo told the panel he felt the woman was withholding information.

Russo said he was trying to be a "fact-finder" and was not trying to "humiliate or embarrass" the woman.

The hearing will resume at a later date. Russo has been on administrative leave since last year.

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