Life

Canadian Judge To Rape Victim: “Why Couldn’t You Just Keep Your Knees Together?”

This Canadian judge has since undergone sensitivity classes.

Credit: Andrew Balfour/Federal Court

Credit: Andrew Balfour/Federal Court

A judge in Canada is facing removal after comments he made during a rape case in 2014 surfaced. He recently underwent a week-long judicial council hearing, where council members questioned his motivation for speaking to an alleged rape victim in such a derogatory manner and subsequently acquitting the accused assailant.

In the case in question, the accuser, a 19-year-old woman, said she was raped at a house party over a bathroom sink.

In response, the judge, then provincial judge Robin Camp, asked the woman several questions about how the alleged rape came to be. He asked her why she couldn’t “just keep [her] knees together” and whether she would have been able to “skew her pelvis.”

Amongst his other general comments, he added, “Young wom[e]n want to have sex, particularly if they’re drunk,” and, “Some sex and pain sometimes go together…that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

Credit: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Credit: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

The defendant in the case was acquitted because Camp believed his testimony. He also told the man:

“I want you to tell your friends, your male friends, that they have to be far more gentle with women. They have to be far more patient. And they have to be very careful. To protect themselves, they have to be very careful.”

Camp has since become a Federal judge and now faces removal for his insensitive remarks. The 64-year-old judge was born in South Africa and admitted during the hearing that he was not familiar with Canadian criminal law, instead focusing on contract and bankruptcy cases.

The verdict in the rape case was appealed and overturned, and a new trial is scheduled for November.

Camp apologized to the woman by acknowledging that his comments were “rude and insulting.” He has undergone sensitivity training for his horrible comments and the council has sent its recommendation about Camp’s future to the Canadian Judicial Council.

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