NORTH BERGEN — A longtime attorney and Municipal Court judge has been accused of groping a woman's breast.

Judge Nino Falcone, 78, was arrested Thursday morning and charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday also suspended Falcone without pay from his $158,000 post as he faces criminal and disciplinary proceedings as a result of the arrest.

Prosecutors say Falcone grabbed a woman's breast without her consent at his private law office on Bergenline Avenue.

He has been released from custody ahead of a hearing in Superior Court in Jersey City on Oct. 3.

This is not the first time Falcone has been in trouble.

In 2001, the state Supreme Court reprimanded him for "gross neglect," lack of diligence, failure to communicate with the clients and misrepresentations in two cases.

In 2009, the top court's Disciplinary Review Board noted that Falcone "obviously" hadn't "learned from his prior mistakes" because they unanimously voted to censure him after he lost a real estate client's $12,000 deposit check in 2004, lied to the mortgage company about having the money in deposit, and failed to inform his client of a conflict of interest because he also had previously represented the person that his client was buying from.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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