Anna Sheffer
August 19, 2019 9:46 am

Unfortunately, despite repeated calls to believe women, victim-shaming remains a real problem in sexual misconduct cases. Recently, a judge in New Jersey had to apologize after he suggested that the plaintiff in a revenge porn case sell her photos to Playboy.

NJ.com reports that Middlesex County Assignment Judge Alberto Rivas made the comments to a woman who said she had sent nude photos to her married boyfriend but that his wife, the defendant, had obtained the pictures. The woman was requesting that her boyfriend’s wife return the photos, as the plaintiff worried that she might post them on social media after they showed up in the wife’s workplace. (How they were sent to the defendant’s work is disputed, according to court documents.)

But Rivas did not sympathize with the alleged revenge porn victim. According to court documents seen by NJ.com, the judge accused the woman of making up the story to embarrass her boyfriend’s wife. He also suggested that she send her photos to former Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner, who died in 2017.

Rivas’s comments resulted in a complaint being filed with the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct. In a statement issued on August 15th, he admitted to violating the Judicial Code of Conduct and apologized for his words.

Rivas’s remarks were misogynistic and inappropriate, and we’re glad to see that his behavior has been called out. We need to take revenge porn—and its victims—seriously.

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