Napolitano, a New Jersey Superior Court judge from 1987 to 1995, is being sued by a man who claims the judge “developed a strong attraction to him” and harassed him on several occasions, including following him into the bathroom and groping him, drugging him, attempting to rape him and forcing him into sex from 2014 to 2017.
The accuser, James Kruzelnick, was 20 years old in 2014 and working as a waiter at a Sparta, New Jersey, restaurant, where he says he first met Napolitano. He’s seeking $15 million in damages in the suit, filed in Essex County, New Jersey, Superior Court.
The lawsuit contends that on multiple occasions when Kruzelnick was seeking legal assistance for unrelated incidents, Napolitano suggested he’d only help in return for sex acts.
On one occasion, Kruzelnick says he agreed to have a drink at Napolitano’s house and ended up being “truly shocked” by what he encountered, according to the lawsuit. The suit continued:
Napolitano said, “I am really into certain things,” and threw himself onto Mr. Kruzelnick’s lap, asking, “I want you to start slapping me really hard.” Napolitano demanded that Mr. Kruzelnick spank his exposed buttocks while Napolitano masturbated. Mr. Kruzelnick was repelled by Napolitano’s demand and told him so, but Napolitano shouted back: “just f**king do it!” Mr. Kruzelnick complied and spanked Napolitano while Napolitano masturbated. Napolitano demanded that Mr. Kruzelnick play the role of “daddy,” and call him “son” while he was being spanked, and then ejaculated onto one of Mr. Kruzelnick’s shoes.
Kruzelnick said his final encounter with Napolitano was in 2017, when he visited the Fox News personality’s farm to swim.
“While changing into a swimsuit, Napolitano violently attacked Mr. Kruzelnick, attempted to anally rape him, then tried to forcibly sodomize him,” the lawsuit alleges. “Napolitano eventually let go of Mr. Kruzelnick, who got dressed and fled.”
Kruzelnick’s attorney, Bennitta Joseph, suggested there may be “other potential victims.”
“This is our second case for sexual assault and battery against Napolitano,” Joseph said in a statement. “We see a disturbing pattern emerging of Napolitano sexually assaulting much younger men and then using his power and influence to silence these victims. We hope that other potential victims who read about Napolitano’s abhorrent actions will have the courage to come forward and speak up.”
Joseph’s Manhattan-based law firm also represents Charles Corbishley, who sued Napolitano earlier this month alleging the judge sexually assaulted him in 1988.
Napolitano has denied both men’s allegations. When Kruzelnick announced last week that he intended to sue, Napolitano’s lawyer issued a statement saying the judge “denies unequivocally” Kruzelnick’s claim. The statement called the allegation “copycat nonsense” meant “to prop up Mr. Corbishley’s doomed lawsuit” and smear Napolitano.