SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — A prominent Bay Area judge is accused of inappropriate sexual behavior.
A former clerk says he called her into his office, to show her porn.
Alex Kozinski handles some of the country’s most high profile cases on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Now, six former staffers claim he sexually harassed them.
Judge Kozinski has a reputation for being irreverent.
But on Friday we learned he may have crossed the line with female law clerks.
The Washington Post reports that six former clerks say he subjected them to inappropriate conduct or comments.
Heidi Bond clerked for the judge from 2006 to 2007 and says he called her into his office several times and pulled up pornography on his computer, asking her if she thought it was Photoshopped or if it aroused her sexually.
Bond said, “I was in a state of emotional shock, and what I really wanted to do was be as small as possible and make as few movements as possible and to say as little as possible to get out.”
Four other women who would not be named for fear of professional repercussions, also claim he made them uncomfortable.
The sixth woman, Emily Murphy, is now a law professor at UC Hastings.
She says in a social conversation about the courthouse gym, the judge said she should work out naked and kept steering the conversation to the subject.
Murphy said, “It wasn’t just clear that he was imagining me naked, he was trying to invite other people — my professional colleagues — to do so as well. That was what was humiliating about it.”
The judge got in hot water in 2008 when it was discovered that he had a website where he would post pornographic images, but he claimed not to know it was publicly accessible.
The Washington Post notes that many other former clerks claim that they never witnessed anything inappropriate.
The judge issued a statement saying he has had over 500 employees during his tenure and “it is regrettable that a handful have been offended by something I may have said or done.”