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Female Seattle judge is condemned for telling serial criminal he’ll be RAPED in prison

‘You’ll be Bubba’s best new girlfriend!’ Female Seattle judge is reprimanded for telling serial criminal he’ll be sent to prison and RAPED by inmate if he doesn’t change his ways

  • Judge Virginia Amato made the comments in August while presiding over the arraignment of a man charged with misdemeanors of domestic violence assault
  • Following a complaint about the comments, she was issued an admonishment from the Commission on Judicial Conduct
  •  The commission noted that Amato’s actions were particularly inappropriate as the defendant was presumed innocent during the arraignment
  • The commission said that Amato’s missteps were not characteristic of her behavior as a judge, noting that they appeared to be an isolated incident

A Washington state judge was blasted for telling a serial criminal he’d be sent to prison and raped by an inmate named ‘Bubba’ if he didn’t change his ways.

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Judge Virginia Amato was officially reprimanded after telling the unnamed domestic abuse suspect last August that he was on course ‘to be Bubba’s new best girlfriend in the state penitentiary.’

‘That may hopefully give you a graphic image to think about… And if you think I’m kidding, I’m not,’ the judge said, according to a complaint. 

The man said he understood, and Amato continued to bestow her judge’s wisdom:

‘The folks at the penitentiary have mothers and sisters and nieces and cousins that they do not want someone out there abusing,’ she warned, ‘And they will take that out on you, at the penitentiary. So think about that because you’re racking up felonies at this point.’  

Amado made the controversial remark during an arraignment hearing for the man, who was on probation at the time of the suspected misdemeanor violence incident.

Further details on that incident, or his criminal past, have not been shared, and the outcome of the case is unclear. The Seattle Times reported that the man had no prior felony convictions, and that Amato wouldn’t have been able to jail him for the latest misdemeanor offense anyway, even if he was convicted.  

Judge Virginia Amato was presiding over the arraignment of an unnamed man charged with misdemeanor accounts of domestic violence assault and resisting arrest in August

The Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct ruled that Amato violated Washington requirements that judges maintain 'integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety'

The Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct ruled that Amato violated Washington requirements that judges maintain ‘integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety’

A complaint was filed with the Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct against Amato in October, and in December she received the allegations.

It is unclear who spoke out against Amato’s remarks.  

Though judge confirmed that she made the statements in the complaint and that they violated the Code of Judicial Conduct, she insisted that she made them purely out of good will for the defendant and were meant to impress upon him the need to change his behavior.

‘While insensitive and thoughtless, were not motivated by bias or ill-will toward the defendant,’ she said.

Regardless of her purported intent, the Conduct Commission ruled that Amato violated Washington requirements that judges maintain ‘integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.’ 

The commission pointed out that Amato's missteps were not characteristic of her behavior as a judge, noting that they appeared to be an isolated incident and that she did not appear to have spoken to the defendant with the intent of ill will

The commission pointed out that Amato’s missteps were not characteristic of her behavior as a judge, noting that they appeared to be an isolated incident and that she did not appear to have spoken to the defendant with the intent of ill will 

She received an official admonishment from the commission – the least severe form of discipline it can issue – but it stressed the seriousness of her actions nonetheless.

‘The words and images chosen were improper, discourteous and unbecoming a judicial officer,’ the commission wrote in the admonishment order, ‘They were degrading to the defendant and other incarcerated people, playing on stereotypes and exploiting fears of the criminal justice system.’

The commission noted that Amato’s actions were particularly inappropriate as the defendant was presumed innocent during the arraignment.

It also said that Amato’s missteps were not characteristic of her behavior as a judge, noting that they appeared to be an isolated incident and that she did not appear to have spoken to the defendant with the intent of ill will. 

Amato sought council from more senior judges, the order says, and she agreed to participate in a one-hour ethics training about courtroom decorum.

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