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Judge Who Bit Nose of Defendant Faces Prison

October 11, 1997| Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A judge could go to prison if convicted on a federal civil rights charge for biting the nose of a defendant who cursed him.

Judge Joseph Troisi, 47, said he did not intend to bite 29-year-old Bill Witten. If convicted on the single count of violating Witten's civil rights, Troisi would face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Witten swore at Troisi as he was being led from the courtroom June 26 after losing a request to have his $40,000 bond reduced while he appealed his sentence for grand larceny and illegal entry.

The bite took a chunk off the end of Witten's nose and he still bears a mark there, said his parents, Jane and Ray Witten. Troisi was suspended without pay last month.

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