US judge admits to breaking into neighbour's house and stealing her underwear

Cicale. Photo credit: Facebook/ Long Island Crime Stoppers

A Long Island judge has admitted he stole his neighbour's underwear several times and is now facing 15 years in prison.

Suffolk County District Judge Robert Cicale pleaded not guilty to burglary charges when appearing in court on Friday morning (local time), ABC reports.

The married father of three allegedly snuck into the home of his 23-year-old neighbour and stole her underwear from the laundry basket several times.

Around 9am on Thursday the woman woke up and heard somebody in the house. She called out and then noticed Cicale in the doorway. He ran away, and the victim closed and locked all the doors before calling her mother and then the police.

Officers approached Cicale while he was pretending to knock on a nearby house's door. They reportedly found several pairs of dirty underwear on him, which the victim later identified as her own.

"This is highly disturbing," Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said.

"This is an individual who swore to uphold the law. He violated it in a very serious way."

During his confession Cicale told police he acted upon "urges" when stealing the underwear. He is now expected to undergo mental health treatment.

His wife is standing by him following the incident.