Clark County judge denies sex, bias claims

LAS VEGAS " A Nevada family court judge is denying state disciplinary panel allegations that he sexually abused a woman when she was a minor, sexually harassed her as an adult, and made racially and sexually disparaging comments to court employees.

Clark County Family Court Judge Nicholas Del Vecchio filed paragraph-by-paragraph denials Thursday of charges in a 38-count Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline civil complaint filed against him by a special prosecutor on Feb. 8.

The complaint accuses Del Vecchio of taking nude photos of his former judicial assistant when she was a teenager, and coercing her into a sexual relationship when she was in her mid-20s and working as his judicial assistant.

The woman, Rebeccah Murray, is Del Vecchio's ex-wife's daughter. She filed a civil lawsuit against Del Vecchio on March 31, seeking more than $50,000 in damages on allegations of assault, invasion of privacy and other charges.

Murray, now 30, also accuses Del Vecchio, 50, of taking nude photos of her before he was elected to the bench in 2000, when she was between ages 14 and 16.

Del Vecchio has said his relationship with Murray was consensual.

He remains on the bench and is running for re-election pending a Judicial Discipline Commission hearing that could lead to his removal. A hearing date has not been set.

Del Vecchio denies in his 29-page answer to the commission complaint that he called a Hispanic bailiff a "lazy Mexican" and made sexually explicit comments about female court employees.

But if he made such comments, the document says, "they would have been said in jest, and in a joking manner" to people he thought were friends.

The discipline panel complaint does not allege any criminal offenses. Clark County District Attorney David Roger declined to prosecute, citing the time that had passed since the alleged offenses and state statutes of limitations.


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