WaPo: 9th Circuit Judge Accused Of Harassment, Inappropriate Comments

Eric Risberg/POOL AP

The Washington Post reported on Friday on six women — two of them on-the-record — who alleged inappropriate sexual conduct and comments from Judge Alex Kozinski, a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and, from late 2007 to 2014, the circuit’s chief judge.

Heidi Bond clerked in Kozinski’s office from 2006 to 2007 and, according to the Post, was one of two women to whom the judge showed porn.

The Post reported on two such instances: “One set of images she remembered was of college-age students at a party where ‘some people were inexplicably naked while everyone else was clothed.’ Another was a sort of digital flip book that allowed users to mix and match heads, torsos and legs to create an image of a naked woman.”

Kozinski showed Bond porn several times, the Post reported.

Another Kozinski clerk, Emily Murphy, said the judge once repeatedly steered a conversation with her and a group of clerks to the idea that she ought to work out naked. Murphy had mentioned that the court’s gym was rarely used, the Post reported.

One unnamed extern told the Post that Kozinski once “made a comment about her hair and looked her body up and down ‘in a less-than-professional way,’” in addition to talking about a female judge stripping.

Another unnamed former extern told the Post she’d had at least two conversations with Kozinski “that had sexual overtones directed at me.”

And an unnamed former clerk told the Post that, while she was dining with Kozinski, the judge “kind of picked the tablecloth up so that he could see the bottom half of me, my legs.”

“I wanted to see if you were wearing pants because it’s cold out,” she recalled him saying.

None of the women profiled by the Post reported the incidents, the Post said, and Bond noted Kosinski’s emphasis on judicial confidentiality.

An unnamed former clerk who alleged the judge showed her porn told the paper: “I was afraid.”

“I mean, who would I tell?” she said. “Who do you even tell? Who do you go to?”

In a statement to the Post, Kozinski responded to the reporting without denying any of the allegations.

“I have been a judge for 35 years and during that time have had over 500 employees in my chambers,” he said. “I treat all of my employees as family and work very closely with most of them. 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.”