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California Judge Reelected Despite Sex Scandal
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Judge Scott Steiner

Summary: A California judge with a history of having sex with his intern and an attorney in his chambers was reelected.

The Stanford rape case judge is not the only judge in California not exactly revered by the public. Orange County Superior Court Judge Scott Steiner was in the spotlight two years for having sex with an attorney and intern in his chambers. He is back in the spotlight after being reelected to the same position.


Read Stanford Rapist’s Friend Reportedly Set Up Donation Page for Legal Fees.

Steiner was up against prosecutor Karen Schatzle in the race, narrowly defeating her by 12.5 percent. His previous sex scandal was the center topic of the campaign. Schatzle said on her website, “Scott Steiner has made a mockery of what our community expects of our Judiciary. I feel strongly that the public should be made aware, and that integrity be restored to his position. His actions not only violated the Judicial Canons that he took an oath to uphold, but betrayed the people he vowed to serve.”

Steiner is married with two young children. He admitted to having sex with his former law school students – an intern and an attorney – in early 2012. It was determined by the California’s Commission on Judicial Performance that Steiner had sex with the attorney in his chambers on more than one occasion but not while the court was in session.

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See 2 Judges Censured for Having Sex in Their Chambers.

He was censured by the Commission for “engaging in sexual intercourse in the courthouse” which is “the height of irresponsible and improper behavior by a judge.” The Commission’s report continued, “It reflects an utter disrespect for the dignity and decorum of the court and is seriously at odds with a judge’s duty to avoid conduct that tarnishes the esteem of the judicial office in the public’s eye. In addition, by engaging in sexual activity in chambers during court hours, Judge Steiner risked exposing court employees who might overhear or otherwise become aware of the libidinous conduct to a hostile work environment.”

After sleeping with the intern, he wrote her a letter of recommendation for a position with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. When she didn’t receive a second interview, he went so far as to call the DA’s office and ask why.

Steiner did not appear as a judge in any of the cases where the attorney he slept with would have appeared before him. He disqualified himself and assigned the cases to other judges.

Do you think he should have been eligible for reelection? Tell us in the comments.

To learn more about the Stanford case, read Former Stanford Swimmer Receives 6 Month Jail Sentence for Sexual Assault.



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