This Judge Could Lose His Job Over His Comments About Rape

Photo: Getty Images.
"Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?" is not a question that a sexual assault survivor expects to hear during her alleged attacker's trial.

But that's exactly what Canadian Justice Robin Camp asked a 19-year-old woman when hearing a 2014 case in the city of Calgary.

Now, he is facing the possibility of being removed from the bench, following a complaint that was filed last year.

According to The Huffington Post, the judge acquitted the man, but the verdict was overturned during an appeal. A new trial is expected.

The complaint, filed by four law professors from Dalhousie University and the University of Calgary, says Camp also asked the woman why she didn't "just sink [her] bottom down into the basin" so her attacker wouldn't be able to penetrate her during the alleged assault over a bathroom sink at a house party.

The judge also said during the trial that the survivor had not explained "why she allowed the sex to happen if she didn’t want it," according to the document.

Camp issued a statement apologizing for his comments after the complaint was filed last November.

"I am speaking particularly to those who hesitate to come forward to report abuse of any kind and who are reluctant to give evidence about abuse, sexual or otherwise," he said, according to CBC News. "To the extent that what I have said discourages any person from reporting abuse, or from testifying about it, I am truly sorry. I will do all in my power to learn from this and to never repeat these mistakes."

Disciplinary hearings involving Canadian judges are rare — the Canadian Judicial Council has conducted 11 since 1971, according to The Globe and Mail. This is the first time a judge has to defend publicly how he handled a sexual assault case, The Globe and Mail reports.

A panel of three judges and two lawyers will issue a recommendation on whether Camp should be removed from the bench. The recommendation would have to be approved by the Judicial Council, the federal justice minister, and the Parliament in order for Camp to lose his job.
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