Former judge testifies in her ex’s assault case

Former Common Pleas judge Leslie Fleisher continued testifying yesterday against her ex-boyfriend — a former District Attorney’s detective accused of aggravated assault — after she sent a lawyer friend to notify the judge she didn’t want to return if defense attorney Charles Peruto Jr. was there.

That request was refused and Fleisher reiterated claims that Lewis B. Palmer choked her during an Oct. 2009 assault. “His left hand was up against my jaw and neck and his right arm came across my chest, and brought it up to my neck,” a wide-eyed Fleisher said. Asked why she called a friend on the police force an hour later instead of 911, she responded, “I was bleeding, dizzy. He’d smacked my head into a piece of steel.”

Fleisher said she didn’t want to be taken to the hospital or “make a big deal about it. … I loved him for a number of years.” Fleisher resigned the bench amid complaints about her courtroom temperament. But, she said, she changed her mind about pursuing charges.

Fleisher also claimed, but never reported, that Palmer pushed her when she showed up at his home to give his stepson a birthday present several months later.

Peruto brought up one of 21 voicemails she’d left Palmer one night shortly after the assault in which she said, “I can make this go away if you do the right thing.” Asked whether the “right thing” meant “marry,” Fleisher responded, “No!”

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