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Harvard-Educated Judge Claims Unawareness of Public TikTok Account After Posting ‘Inappropriate’ Videos

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A Harvard-educated judge finds himself embroiled in controversy after allegedly posting ‘inappropriate’ videos online, claiming he was unaware his TikTok account was public.

Gary Wilcox, 59, a judge from New Jersey, has come under scrutiny for sharing videos in which he lip-synced to songs by artists such as Nas, Busta Rhymes, and Miguel while in his chambers or bed.

Some of these videos contained explicit, racist, sexist, and sexual language, leading the judicial conduct committee to deem 11 out of the 40 videos ‘inappropriate.’

However, Wilcox, who used the pseudonym Sal Tortorella from March 2021 to April 2023, asserted that he did not realize his content was accessible to the public.

Judge Gary N. Wilcox of the New Jersey Superior Court, 59, employed the pseudonym Sal Tortella and created around 40 videos of himself lip-syncing to lyrics from popular rap songs, some of which included references to violence, sex, and misogyny

Judge Gary N. Wilcox of the New Jersey Superior Court, 59, employed the pseudonym Sal Tortella and created around 40 videos of himself lip-syncing to lyrics from popular rap songs, some of which included references to violence, sex, and misogyny

On Friday, Wilcox submitted a 21-page verified response to a formal complaint filed against him by the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct on July 1.

The Disciplinary Counsel, Maureen Bauman, charged Wilcox with violating three judicial canons.

Wilcox acknowledged the questionable and ‘inappropriate’ nature of his behavior but contended that he might have avoided the situation if he had been informed that his videos were not private.

Now, facing a hearing, Wilcox could potentially receive admonition or dismissal from the bench.

The complaint alleged that Wilcox’s decision to share TikTok videos demonstrated ‘poor judgment and demonstrated disrespect for the judiciary and an inability to conform to the high standards of conduct expected of judges.’

The TikTok clips featured Wilcox lip-syncing to songs by popular rap artists, including Nas, Busta Rhymes, and Miguel, and some contained references to violence, sex, and misogyny.

The TikTok clips featured Wilcox lip-syncing to songs by popular rap artists, including Nas, Busta Rhymes, and Miguel, and some contained references to violence, sex, and misogyny.

Some of the videos were filmed in Wilcox’s judicial robes, with others showcasing him in bed or in his chambers.

Some of the videos were filmed in Wilcox’s judicial robes, with others showcasing him in bed or in his chambers.

Wilcox admitted to using the TikTok platform but stated that he did not consider himself an expert in its usage and customization.

He explained, ‘He did not know the significance of what ‘public’ meant in TikTok’s posting context.’

According to court documents, the lyrics of some videos, along with Wilcox’s appearance, ‘brought disrepute to the judiciary.’

In several videos, Wilcox appeared in his judicial robes, while others depicted him partially dressed in bed or in his chambers.

Wilcox recorded these videos on his personal cell phone during his personal time, outside of work hours.

He believed that his setting allowed family, friends, and approved connections to view the content. He initially did not intend for the videos to be viewed by the public at large, and later changed the video settings to ‘friends only’ or ‘followers only.’

His TikTok account is no longer active, and he indicated in court documents that he has no intention of reactivating it.

The identity of the individual who lodged the complaint against Wilcox remains unclear, given that he had only a few followers and it is uncertain if his videos had any notable impact before the July 1 complaint.

Robert Hille, Wilcox’s attorney, stated to NewJersey.com, “We have no idea who filed the complaint.” He added, “We do not think there was any underlying motive.”

Wilcox, a criminal judge in Bergen County, has held the position of a Superior Court judge since 2011 and was admitted to the New Jersey bar over three decades ago.

In relation to the charges he is facing, Wilcox argued that any disciplinary action “should not be greater than a reprimand.”

Written by:
Dana Sterling-Editor

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