NEW YORK –  Perverts have been stealing women’s panties and other undergarments to satisfy a twisted fetish as long as police have been taking crime reports. But to hear a judge arrested for such a crime is indeed a new twist to the story.

Nevertheless, a New York judge is accused of breaking into a neighbor’s home to steal her worn underpants. He pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony burglary charge, reported Fox News.

Robert Cicale, a Suffolk County district court judge, admitted he had broken into the woman’s Long Island home several times and stolen underwear out of her clothing hamper, District Attorney Timothy Sini said.

The 23-year-old woman once worked as an intern for Cicale when he was a town attorney. She was alone in the East Islip home Thursday when she heard a noise and saw a man running off, according to police. As a result, the woman called her mother, who subsequently dialed 911.

When officers arrived, they found Cicale on the street. The judge was carrying several pair of the woman’s soiled undergarments, authorities said.

Cicale told investigators that on Thursday he “went into the house to take the panties again,” according to court documents.

It was unclear why Cicale at the time would have been carrying underwear he had taken on a previous occasion, reported Fox.

The judge, who generally hears misdemeanor criminal cases in the county’s district court, told the officers that he had taken the underwear during another break-in, Sini said.

panties

Robert Cicale, a Suffolk County district court judge, was arrested for stealing a woman’s undergarments. (Suffolk County Police Department)

“This is very disturbing,” Sini said in an interview Friday. “In his confession, he noted he had urges to do this, to engage in this behavior.”

Furthermore, detectives are still trying to figure out how many times Cicale broke into the woman’s home, the district attorney said.

“He admitted he had gone into the home unlawfully on a few other occasions,” Sini said.

As you might expect, Cicale was “temporarily relieved of his judicial duties” and the matter was referred to the state’s Court of Appeals to determine whether to suspend the jurist, court system spokesman Lucian Chalfen said.

A judge also issued a restraining order that prevents Cicale from contacting the victim and, as a condition of his bail, Cicale will also be required to wear a GPS monitor, Sini said.

Cicale was released after posting $25,000 bail. He declined to comment as he left the courthouse.

His attorney, William Wexler, said Cicale had a stellar reputation and that the judge’s wife was standing by him.

“Every judge, every lawyer respects him, and we just have to see how the process plays out,” Wexler told reporters outside the courtroom.

The statement from his attorney might be old news once word of his arrest and reported confession becomes common knowledge.

Neighbors were shocked when they learned of the judge’s arrest, reported ABC7NY.

“From what I heard, it’s a little perverted maybe,” neighbor William Bloom said. “And that never makes sense to me.”

Cicale is a graduate of St. John’s Law School, a former legal aide attorney and a former Islip Town Attorney elected to the District Criminal Court in 2016.

“He’s a family man, he’s always outside playing basketball with his kids,” neighbor Jay Moceri said. “He’s always jogging. He’s always friendly to everybody in the neighborhood.”