Wife accuses LV judge of abuse

A Las Vegas justice of the peace is being accused of physically abusing his wife and could face a charge of battery.

Sue Abbatangelo, the wife of Justice of the Peace Tony Abbatangelo, accused her husband of grabbing her by the neck, choking her and screaming at her during a fight at the couple’s home Wednesday.

She further accused the judge of physically abusing her over a two-year period.

Las Vegas police interviewed her Wednesday and submitted a report to the county prosecutor’s office alleging one count of battery domestic violence against the judge.

District Attorney David Roger said Friday that his office received the complaint and will decide next week whether to file a criminal charge against the judge.

Abbatangelo, on the advice of his attorney, declined to comment.

His wife, who filed the complaint, also declined to comment.

Sue Abbatangelo is the sister of District Judge Michelle Leavitt.

Abbatangelo, 43, has served as a justice of the peace since 1996. He earned his law degree from the University of San Diego Law School in 1990. He was in private practice for three years before serving as a Las Vegas municipal judge from 1993 to 1996.

The couple have been married for 13 years and have four children together. But sources said Abbatangelo and his wife have been having problems in recent years.

They separated about three months ago because of Abbatangelo’s abuse and infidelity, Sue Abbatangelo stated in a temporary restraining order filed with Family Court on Thursday.

Abbatangelo isn’t allowed to contact his wife and must stay at least 100 yards from his wife’s house, the order states. He is allowed to see his children as often as he wants.

Sue Abbatangelo stated the judge has been “choking and attacking” her for more than two years. She stated that she didn’t report the abuse because she wanted to avoid public humiliation and worried that the judge would lose his job.

She stated that Abbatangelo was at their home near Lone Mountain Road and Durango Drive on Wednesday to watch several of their children. She arrived home about 1 p.m. and they got into a fight because, she claims, he’s been going to Seamless, a topless club.

She claims Abbatangelo grabbed her by the neck and shoved her against a wall. Abbatangelo then choked her until she had trouble breathing, yelled at her and spit into her face, according to the temporary restraining order.

The couple continued to fight in the house. She contends he grabbed her by the hair and dragged her through a hallway. She eventually got away and hid in the backyard of the house until he left, she stated. She added that once she returned to the house, Abbatangelo returned but it was only to get his medication.

Sue Abbatangelo suffered noticeable injuries to her neck, according to a Las Vegas police domestic battery report taken about an hour after the incident.

The report states Sue Abbatangelo was crying, nervous and fearful.

Abbatangelo has a good reputation among attorneys. He received high marks earlier this year in the Review-Journal’s annual survey, Judging the Judges, with 90 percent of respondents saying he should keep his job.

In 2001, the Asian Chamber of Commerce chose him as the elected official of the year.

Review-Journal writer Carri Geer Thevenot contributed to this report. Contact reporter David Kihara at dkihara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

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