A senior judge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will be reported this week for suggesting during a hearing a perpetrator be fined one dollar for every time he inappropriately groped a 15-year-old girl without consent.
The Allegheny County District Attorney's office said it plans to report Common Pleas Senior Judge Lester G. Nauhaus after he suggested the amount in court late April and eventually allowed a man convicted of sexual assault to walk with 90 days of probation and 20 hours of community service to fulfill, with no fine.
However, Judge Nauhaus' behavior was enough to elicit further action from the district attorney's office.
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"In effectuating these changes, we dealt with the same type of conduct then as is being exhibited by this particular jurist now," spokesman Mike Manko said in a statement to AOL News. "Such conduct has no place in our system and the district attorney will bring it to the attention of the appropriate persons and, if necessary, the Judicial Conduct Board."
The offender in the case, who was 18 at the time of the offense, was initially convicted of sexual harassment by a district magistrate after reportedly grabbing and groping a girl's genitals while they both were students in middle and high school, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
He appeared before Judge Nauhaus last week to challenge the $300 fine he received for conviction of harassment, saying that he was unable to pay.
When asked by Judge Nauhaus what the commonwealth was seeking, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Tisak replied a 90-day probation and an order of no-contact on behalf of the victim.
"Fine," Judge Nauhaus said in response to Assistant District Attorney Jeff Tisak, according to a transcript of the hearing that was obtained by the Pittsburgh City Paper. "I'm going to give him a 90-day postponement. He has to do community service. And he has to pay a $3 fine. How many times did he touch?"
"I'm going to say about six times, maybe," the victim said.
"A $6 fine," the judge said.
Tisak objected: "It is just highly inappropriate to tell a young girl that inappropriate touching is worth a dollar a time."
"What do you want me to fine him? "He doesn't have any money," the judge replied.
"I understand that," Tisak said. "That's not the point. I don't care if the fine is zero dollars. It's highly inappropriate to tell a young girl that inappropriate touching is worth a dollar a time"
"All right. It's zero dollars. Ninety days. No contact. Twenty hours of community service," the judge ruled.
When questioned by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about his brow-raising remarks during the hearing, Judge Nauhaus said that he was trying to elicit the penalty being sought by the commonwealth, but did not intend to minimize the victim's assault.
"It's frustrating. I didn't mean to mock. I didn't mean to denigrate. I just wanted somebody to give me an answer. That's their job," Judge Nauhaus said.