US federal judge Alex Kozinski resigns over allegations of sexual misconduct

Ninth Circuit Appeals Court Judge Alex Kozinski looks on during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, on March 16, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)
A prominent federal judge has announced his resignation days after several former clerks and junior staffers came forward accusing him of sexual misconduct.
Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said in a statement Monday that a fight over the allegations leveled against him would not be good for the judiciary.
He said he would step down effective immediately.
At least 15 women have accused Kozinski of subjecting them to crude sexual behavior or lewd comments, going back decades.
"I may not have been mindful enough of the special challenges and pressures that women face in the workplace," Kozinski said in the statement.
"It grieves me to learn that I caused any of my clerks to feel uncomfortable; this was never my intent. For this I sincerely apologize."
A federal judge said last week there were grounds to launch a probe into allegations of judicial misconduct against Kozinski.
Kozinski’s resignation comes amid a national debate over sexual misconduct that has seen powerful men in the worlds of politics, media and entertainment step down.
The list includes such big names as Democratic Representative John Conyers, Republican Representatives Trent Franks and Blake Farenthold.
Democratic Senator Al Franken has also announced his resignation after multiple claims of groping and unwanted sexual advances.
Several Democratic senators are citing the resignations in Congress as an increased impetus for President Donald Trump to do the same.
More than a dozen women have accused Trump of unwanted sexual advances including forcible kissing, groping and improper touching.
The president has dismissed the allegations, saying he is the target of “false accusations and fabricated stories of women he does not know.”