A New York judge repeatedly broke into a neighbor’s home and stole her dirty panties, the New York Post reports.
Judge Robert Cicale, 49, of Long Island, reportedly confessed to the crime and said he felt “urges” to pilfer the panties. Cicale admitted to investigators that in multiple instances, he entered a woman’s house without her permission, snuck into a bedroom upstairs and would “go to the hamper and he would steal girl’s panties,” said prosecutor Jennifer Milito.
The victim is 23 years old and had interned in the Islip Town Attorney’s Office while Cicale was the town’s attorney. Cicale, now a Suffolk County District Court judge, lives across the street from the victim.
“This defendant, cloaked with the awesome responsibility . . . is now standing before Your Honor on this very serious charge,” Milito said during Cicale’s arraignment on Friday.
Cicale was caught after entering the home around 9 a.m. Thursday while the victim was sleeping. She told police that she awoke to “a man standing there.”
The victim then phoned her mother, who dialed 911 while Cicale ran out. Officers found the judge walking to a different home and knocking on a door before they arrested him, according to the newspaper.
Cicale, a father of three, was found with “several pairs of women’s panties in his jacket pocket” and numerous other panties in a raincoat he was holding. He has been charged with burglary but has pleaded not guilty and was released on bail.
The judge told investigators that he felt “urges” to steal underwear from women. He has since written an apology letter to the victim.
“I went into the house to take the panties again but left when I heard someone home,” Cicale told police, according to court documents. “The panties I had on me are from the other times I went into the house.”
Orders of protection have been issued against the judge, which prevent him from contacting the victim and her family members. He also is required to stay at least 100 feet away from the house and must wear a GPS tracker.
“This is highly disturbing,” Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said. “This [is an] individual who swore to uphold the law and violated it in a very serious way.”
“The message here, both from the Suffolk County Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, is that no one is above the law,” Sini said.
Cicale said nothing as he left the courthouse Friday, the newspaper reports.
His defense attorney, David Wexler, said that aside from the panty thefts, his client has long been respected in the legal community. Cicale was a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society and also worked as Islip Town attorney before voters elected him to the bench in 2015.
“He’s been involved in legal circles his entire adult life,” Wexler said, adding that Cicale is “committed to the law and just an all-around decent person.”
[Feature Photo: Robert Cicale/Suffolk County Police Department]