Federal Judge Roger Benitez was flaked on social media after he asked to handcuff a 13-year-old crying girl during her father's hearing in the court. Apart from handcuffing the girl, the judge also asked her to stand next to her father in the court room.
Judged Wanted to Teach a Lesson to the Girl
The incident took place in the court of Judge Roger Benitez of the Southern District of California during the final revocation hearing of 13-year-old's father, Mario Puente. While admitting to violating his supervised release, Puente opened to the judge about his need to leave San Diego in order to breakaway from his problematic contacts and to give a better future to his daughter.
According to Above the Law, moments later Bentiez asked a U.S. Marshall if he had got cuffs? The sentencing memo stated that after the Marshal confirmed he did, "Judge Benitez then ordered the 13-year-old girl to leave the spectator area, approach the front of the courtroom, and stand next to her father's lawyer. He told the Marshal to '[p]ut cuffs on her.'"
"The Marshal did so, cuffing the girl's hands behind her back. As he did so, she was crying," the memo continued. "Judge Benitez then instructed the Marshal to 'put[ ] her over there in the jury box for me for just a minute.' The Marshal complied, placing the girl in the jury box in handcuffs. She continued to cry."
The sentencing memo further added, "After a long pause, Judge Benitez released the girl. But he did not allow her to immediately return to her seat. Instead he told her, 'don't go away. Look at me.' He asked her how she liked 'sitting up there' and 'the way those cuffs felt on you.' Still in tears, she responded that she 'didn't like it.' He told her she was 'an awfully cute young lady' but that if she didn't stay away from drugs, she would 'wind up in cuffs' and be 'right back there where I put you a minute ago.'"
Social Media Reacts
The incident drew a lot of reactions on social media.
"Federal Judge Roger Benitez committed serious misconduct by handcuffing an innocent child. He needs to seriously consider retiring or resigning," wrote a user.
"Judge Roger Benitez of the Southern District of California decided to traumatize a child for attending a public hearing to support her father and have her put in handcuffs," read another tweet.
"Federal District Court Judge Roger Benitez falsely imprisoned a crying 13-year-old girl in his courtroom to teach her and her father a lesson. He also called her "awfully cute." He should not be on the bench. He should be investigated and face charges," tweeted a user.
"Judge Benitez of the Southern District of California is another RW asshole judge, but apptd by Bush junior, not Trump. Same vetting, Fed. Soc," wrote a user