Graphic, emotional testimony from second woman accusing judge of sexual harassment


The second woman accusing a Franklin County Judge of sexual harassment testified Friday, in graphic, emotional detail.

She took the stand in a disciplinary hearing against Appeals Court Judge Tim Horton.

The woman who testified is not being identified at the request of the court.

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She was a legal intern in the summer of 2013 for Judge Tim Horton, who was then at the Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

She says his harassment of her was slow, incremental, and methodical.

"I think it was really a process of grooming me to go along with what he wanted me to do. The conversations about how powerful he was, the impact he could have over people's careers, how important loyalty was."

She says there were comments about her appearance.

"I remember during the Happy Hour he made a comment several times. Something like, 'I like your pants. You know you look good in those pants, don't you.'"
"What was your response?" asked Assistant Disciplinary Counsel Casey Russo.
"I remember just feeling embarrassed."

She says at frequent after-work happy hours, Horton became more aggressive.

"I was getting up to go to bathroom, Judge Horton looked at me and said, 'Walk away slowly.' And so I went to the restroom and when I came back, that's when Judge Horton looked at me and he said I want to (expletive) you in the (expletive)."

In decisions she still struggles to understand, she stayed in contact with Horton months after her internship ended.

That's when they both admit, they had sex.

"Did you want to do that?" asked Russo.
"I consented. I didn't want it."
"Can you explain?"
"I think for all the reasons I said earlier, about why would I go back to this? I felt like I had to do what Judge Horton wanted me to do."

She said on multiple occasions, Horton encouraged his friends to grope her.

"Judge Horton said to this attorney...making comments about my appearance, and then said, 'Touch her (expletive), just touched her (expletive).' I was like, 'No, don't touch me,' but he wouldn't stop. He just kept saying, 'Touch her (expletive), touch her (expletive).' And so the other attorney did."

Horton's attorney questioned whether she was truly a victim.

"You weren't too uncomfortable to contact him. You weren't really offended or harassed enough not to go out with him or even leave after things were said to you," said Rick Brunner.

"I don't think that's true," the woman responded. "I think it's because I was harassed and groomed in this manner that I kept going back. That I didn't feel like I had a choice not to."

Horton denies many of the allegations against him but says the misconduct he does admit to, was the result of an alcohol problem. He says he has since been in treatment for addiction.

Testimony in this hearing will resume in September.

After that, the Board of Professional Conduct will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court.

Depending on their ruling, Horton could be removed from the bench.

You can watch his testimony and that of his other accuser in the links below.

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