East Islip, NY – A Suffolk County judge was in jail after he allegedly into a young woman’s house to steal her underwear.
Police say that Judge Robert Cicale, 49, broke into the 23-year-old neighbor’s house at about 9 a.m. March 29, according to the New York Daily News.
The woman heard a noise and saw a man in her house and then called the police.
The intruder ran out when he realized he was not alone in the house, police said.
The police found Cicale two blocks away and he had woman’s underwear on him. The judge fit the description given by the woman. The police didn’t know if he had taken the underwear that day or on a previous break-in.
One neighbor said the judge was a family man who had lived on the block for a decade, the New York Daily News reported.
“No way, no way,” Jay Moceri, a 42-year-old construction worker said. “He’s always out there playing basketball with his kids and seems to be a good family man.”
Cicale is a Republican who was elected judge in 2015. He previously had been Islip’s town attorney since 2012.
He was charged with second-degree burglary.
Chris Brocato, president of the Suffolk County Criminal Bar Association, said that the judge has a reputation of being a good judge and a good person, too, according to Newsday.
Brocato said the judge was “universally loved” by prosecutors and defense attorneys. Brocato added that when you walked into Cicale’s courtroom, people knew they were going to be treated fairly.
“This is a very nice individual, a very compassionate individual,” Brocato said.
Newsday reported that Cicale worked for the Legal Aid Society, which represented indigent people.
On Friday, Cicale allegedly wrote a complete confession to being a serial panty thief and wrote an apology letter to his victim, according to WABC.
He was ordered held on $50,000 bail and has been relieved of his judicial duties.
Defense Attorney William Wexler said that his wife is standing by his side, according to WABC.