A federal judge on Monday announced his retirement from the bench, in response to accusations of serial sexual misconduct, including groping and showing pornography to his female law clerks and staffers.
Judge Alex Kozinski, a veteran of the powerful 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California, said in a statement that he is retiring “effective immediately” because “I cannot be an effective judge and simultaneously fight this battle.”
At least 15 women have said Kozinski subjected them to “a range of inappropriate sexual conduct or comments” over the years, including groping and showing them pornography.
Kozinski disputed their accounts in a statement to The Washington Post, which first reported the allegations earlier this month.
“I treat all of my employees as family and work very closely with most of them,” he said. “I would never intentionally do anything to offend anyone and it is regrettable that a handful have been offended by something I may have said or done.”
In a subsequent statement after more women reported similar stories, he attributed his behavior to “my unusual sense of humor,” apologizing that it “caused offense or made anyone uncomfortable.”
“I deeply regret that my unusual sense of humor caused offense or made anyone uncomfortable.”
Have you faced sexual harassment or sexual misconduct by a federal judge? We’d like to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.