A Cook County judge accused of sexually harassing multiple women has resigned, an Illinois Courts' spokesman confirmed Friday.
The Judicial Inquiry Board filed a complaint against Judge Mauricio Araujo last year, alleging that he “engaged in a pattern of inappropriate and harassing behavior toward women” he interacted with “in professional settings and in his official judicial capacity.”
The board charged that Araujo’s alleged misconduct spanned six years, from 2012 to 2018, and detailed several instances of alleged misconduct by Araujo, which included making unwanted sexual advances and comments to women in the workplace.
Araujo, 55, who was first elected in 2008, could not be reached for comment Friday.
On two separate occasions in 2012, Araujo made sexual advances to a court reporter while the two were in an elevator Domestic Violence Courthouse on the Near West Side, according to the complaint.
While riding the elevator together, Araujo allegedly moved close to the reporter and asked “how much money” she wanted to have sex with him, the complaint states.
By August 2016, Araujo was presiding over a courtroom inside the Leighton Criminal Court Building at 26th Street and California Avenue. A 15-year veteran Chicago police officer entered Araujo’s chambers so he could sign a search warrant.
The judge approached the officer with his arms extended and moved his face close to hers “in an attempt to kiss” her on the mouth, the complaint alleged.
The officer extended her arm to prevent him from getting closer and told him “back sir,” a technique she learned during police training, the complaint said.
The judge later grabbed the officer’s hand and said, “just touch it,” the complaint alleged. When the officer pulled her hand away and asked, “touch what,” the judge allegedly said, “touch my butt.”
In September 2018, Araujo was placed on administrative leave and reassigned from the bench at the criminal courthouse following a complaint that he referred to a female assistant state attorney as “a bitch” and suggested he may have had sex with her.
The court commission, which is comprised of five judges and two citizens, heard testimony from the alleged victims during a two-day hearing earlier this week. The commission can reprimand, censure, suspend with or without pay, remove from office or retire a judge.
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