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New Jersey judge who told a woman she should sell her nude pictures to Playboy is censured

New Jersey judge who told a woman she should sell her nude pictures to Playboy after she sued lover’s wife in revenge porn case is censured and steps down from assignment role

  • New Jersey Supreme Court has accepted recommendation of disciplinary panel to censure Middlesex County Assignment Judge Alberto Rivas 
  • Rivas stepped down as assignment judge in Middlesex County but will continue serving as a judge in the civil division 
  • Rivas presided over a January 2019 lawsuit involving a woman and her married lover’s wife, whom she accused of being in possession of her nude photos 
  • Mistress claimed wife had threatened to spread her nude pictures as revenge 
  • Rivas did not believe the mistress’ claims and called it a ‘complete fabrication’ 
  • He advised the plaintiff to sell her nude photos to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner for $100,000 
  • Rivas later apologized for his conduct, admitting that it was inappropriate 

A New Jersey judge has been officially censured and offered to step down from his position as an assignment judge in Middlesex County after telling a woman suing her lover’s wife that she should send naked photos of herself to Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner.

The New Jersey Supreme Court announced on Monday that it has accepted the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct to censure Middlesex County Assignment Judge Alberto Rivas for conduct in violation of judicial canons. 

Rivas will continue serving on the bench as a judge in the civil division.

Middlesex County Assignment Judge Alberto Rivas has been officially censured for his handling of a revenge porn case last year

Middlesex County Assignment Judge Alberto Rivas has been officially censured for his handling of a revenge porn case last year 

Superior Court Judge Michael Toto, 62, a criminal presiding judge in Middlesex County, has been chosen to replace Rivas as assigning judge. 

Rivas previously apologized for his conduct and indicated he was seeking counseling.

‘I regret the comments I made during the proceeding,’ Rivas said in a statement released by court officials. ‘I felt the court was being manipulated, but I let my feelings about the case influence my language, tone and demeanor, all of which were inappropriate.’ 

Superior Court Judge Michael Toto, 62 (pictured), a criminal presiding judge in Middlesex, has been chosen to replace Rivas as assigning judge

Superior Court Judge Michael Toto, 62 (pictured), a criminal presiding judge in Middlesex, has been chosen to replace Rivas as assigning judge

In February, the disciplinary panel found Rivas ‘demonstrated a lack of self-control’ during a January 2019 dispute involving the girlfriend of a married man, and his wife. The girlfriend was seeking to have the wife return explicit photos of herself that she feared would be shared on social media. 

The committee also concluded that the jurist exhibited ‘repeated displays of discourtesy’ to all three people in the love triangle and ‘went above and beyond the appropriate bounds.’ 

Rivas raised doubts about the girlfriend’s claim and felt the woman was trying to embarrass the wife. He called the man ‘despicable’ and ‘a knucklehead’ and told all three he was ‘just dying to whack one of you.’

Rivas also told the girlfriend that the only person she should be sending the pictures to was Hefner, who ‘would pay you $100,000 for the use of them.’

Hefner died in 2017 at the age of 91 after suffering complications from an infection. 

Rivas was highly skeptical of the mistress’ account, and accused her of manufacturing a ‘complete fabrication’ to damage the wife’s reputation.

Rivas told a woman suing her lover's wife that she should sell her nude photos to the late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner (pictured) for $100,000

Rivas told a woman suing her lover’s wife that she should sell her nude photos to the late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner (pictured) for $100,000

Rivas (left with retired judge Harriet E. Derman) later apologized for his 'inappropriate' conduct and said he was seeking counseling

Rivas (left with retired judge Harriet E. Derman) later apologized for his ‘inappropriate’ conduct and said he was seeking counseling

Rivas blasted the mistress in court after she claimed not to know where the wife worked.

‘Baloney. That’s not true. If you’re screwing him – let’s be frank now, because I should not be wasting judicial resources on this kind of malarkey. If you have been screwing him for these years, there’s no question that you know where she works. That’s how affairs work. This is not someone you just met,’ the judge said at the hearing, according to court documents. 

Rivas also questioned why the wife did not divorce the husband, who works as a corrections officer.

‘I would suggest divorce, and take half his pension. That’s an option you have, having sat in Family Court,’ Rivas told her. ‘You can take his pension.’

Rivas said in a response to the complaint that his comments were not borne from ‘family, social, political, financial or other relationships or interests.’ 

He said he was responding to a ‘bad faith’ allegation from the mistress and not bias or prejudice.

The panel’s report also noted that Rivas was privately reprimanded in 2013 and 2014 for his previous conduct in court.    

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Written by Angle News

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