Canada judge resigns over sexual assault case remarks

Judge who told complainant to 'keep your knees together' resigns

A Canadian federal judge was asked to resign on Thursday after reportedly directing a rape victim in a case he was presiding over to, among other things, simply keep he knees together in order to avoid rape.

According to a report in the Independent, a statement released by former Judge Robin Camp's lawyer read, "Effective March 10, 2017 I will resign as a member of the Federal Court of Canada".

"Public confidence is sufficiently undermined to render the judge incapable of executing the judicial office", the council wrote.

The council's report was sent to the federal justice minister. Camp is accused of misconduct during a 2014 rape trial.

The judge had tried to hold on to his position and told the Council he had undergone education and had apologised for his comments.

The review found Mr Camp addressed the young indigenous woman, who was homeless at the time of the alleged rape, in a "condescending, humiliating and disrespectful" manner.


Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Alberta's Minister of Justice called for an inquiry into Justice Robin Camptrial.

When the woman said the alleged assault took place in a bathroom sink, Camp inquired why she hadn's sunk her "bottom down into the basin so he couldn't penetrate you", according to the Guardian.

Camp also incorrectly referred to the woman as the "accused" multiple times throughout the trial, and told her "pain and sex sometimes go together". The woman had testified she was raped over a sink. The decision comes almost three years after Camp accused a 19-year-old rape survivor of not doing more to prevent being raped, an attack that occurred above a sink at a party.

That "misses the most serious point", the judicial council's report said on Thursday, noting that Camp's comments "were antithetical to the contemporary values of our judicial system". "What did he get from asking that?" she asked. "He made me hate myself and he made me feel like I should have done something", she said. Wagar was then acquitted again in January following a retrial with a new judge who concluded there was reasonable doubt he had committed the crime.

The trial that brought the judge's resignation was conducted in 2014, when Camp, serving on the Alberta Provincial Court, considered sexual assault allegations made by a complainant whom the judicial council described as "a vulnerable 19-year-old woman". It's no wonder that rape is under-reported and so often not pursued legally if this is what we can expect from those who are meant to fairly judge these cases.

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