NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Four state senators are calling for a Middlesex County Superior Court judge to be removed from the bench for her handling of a rape case involving a 12-year-old girl.

Senators Bob Smith, Joseph Vitale, Linda Greenstein and Patrick Diegnan have submitted a formal complaint to the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct requesting an investigation into Judge Marcia Silva.

Silva has come under fire after her opinion in a juvenile rape case recently came to light.

Sign Up for E-News

Last month, an appellate court overturned an earlier ruling by Silva that prevented prosecutors from charging an alleged 16-year-old rapist as an adult.

The senators specifically cited the part of Silva's opinion in which she said: "The victim claimed that the juvenile pushed her, grabbed her hands, removed her clothing and then penetrated her without her actual consent. However, beyond losing her virginity, the State did not claim that the victim suffered any further injuries either physical, mental or emotional,"

The senators' letter described Silva's words as "disturbing."

According to the letter, "The State of New Jersey's Code of Judiciary Conduct, Canon I, states that 'A judge ... shall uphold and should promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary.' According to the rules covering judiciary conduct, Judge Silva's actions, along with the international attention they have received, have undeniably weakened the integrity of the New Jersey court system."

The letter goes on to cite Canon 3 of the judicial conduct code.

Silva, a former assistant prosecutor for Middlesex County, was nominated to the bench in 2014 by former Gov. Chris Christie.

She has a law practice in her hometown of South River.