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Nose-Biting Judge To Return to Jail

July 30, 1998

ST. MARYS, W.Va. (AP) _ A former judge who served five days behind bars for biting a defendant’s nose was ordered back to jail for the rest of his original six-month sentence Wednesday for violating the terms of his probation.

Circuit Judge Arthur Recht ruled that former county judge Joseph Troisi inappropriately confronted and provoked a court official who had testified against him in the nose-biting case.

Troisi admitted on the stand that he called Pleasants County Deputy Circuit Clerk Ward Grose a liar and other epithets in the St. Marys courthouse June 30.

But he showed little remorse over the incident.

``I feel it was stupid. I don’t feel it was wrong,″ Troisi said of his behavior.

Recht seized upon Troisi’s own testimony in ruling that he had violated the terms of his probation, which include refraining from contact with any witnesses against him.

``I didn’t think I’d ever say this: Mr. Troisi just doesn’t get it,″ Recht said.

Troisi resigned from the bench and pleaded no contest to battery charges in October 1997 for biting the nose of a defendant after a contentious bail hearing. He served five days in jail and received one year of probation.

Wednesday’s hearing stemmed from a complaint filed by Grose in which he alleged Troisi insulted him, then blocked his access to the courtroom by bumping him with his chest.

Troisi must report to jail by Aug. 13. Recht said he delayed the beginning of the sentence so Troisi, who recently resumed his law practice, could wrap up several matters with his clients.

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