Judge reads play debating legal questions

SOLANA BEACH — A special one-night reading of “The Rape of the Chambermaid” by author Judge H. Lee Sarokin will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 15 at the North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Suite D.According to Rancho Santa Fe resident Sarokin, “The play was inspired by the rape charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. It covers a number of themes that have always concerned me. I wrote an article for the Huffington Post entitled: ‘What If He Is Innocent?’ First, I am constantly troubled about the role pre-trial publicity plays. Strauss-Kahn was forced to resign his position as head of the International Monetary Fund and give up his quest to be president of France solely based upon charges against him.

“Second, I find it fascinating that the name of a rape victim is voluntarily withheld by the media (a practice which I do not oppose), but not the name of the alleged rapist. What’s worse being known as a rape victim or a rapist? Third, the play also depicts my concern about the role of money in the justice system, the abuse of rape victims during trials (virtually a second rape) and the fallibility of eye-witness identification. Finally, I hope it also raises profound ethics questions faced by lawyers representing clients accused of crimes.”

A $5 donation at the door is suggested. For information, call (858) 481-1055 or

Sarokin attended Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School. He was a distinguished trial lawyer in New Jersey for 25 years before being nominated to the United States District Court for the District of N.J. by President Jimmy Carter. He was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals by President Bill Clinton. He served 17 years on the federal bench and retired in 1996. He was appointed Distinguished Jurist in Residence at the University of San Diego School of Law and served in that capacity for five years. His first play is about a fictional trial in which a man wrongly accused of aiding terrorists is imprisoned and tortured and sues the President of the United States. He is married to Marjorie Lang and resides in Rancho Santa Fe.