Victim Blaming Judge in Sexual Assault Case Forced to Resign

Posted March 11, 2017

A Canadian judge who asked a possible rape victim why she couldn't keep her knees together after an alleged sexual assault is resigning from the bench.

The resignation of Federal Court Justice Robin Camp is effective Friday, according to a statement released by his attorney, CBC News reports.

For the woman targeted by Camp's controversial comments in court, the Justice's resignation is the latest step in her attempt to heal. Camp asked the alleged victim at one point in the 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 Canadian Judicial Council said in a review released on Thursday that Camp's conduct during a 2014 sex assault trial was so "manifestly and profoundly destructive" towards judicial impartiality that he could not remain in office.

The board determined that the victim, a young indigenous woman, was treated by the judge in a "condescending, humiliating, and disrespectful" manner - clearly.

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

Camp made the comments as a provincial court judge in a 2014 trial.

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"Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?" and "Why didn't you just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn't penetrate you?"

The council's decision supported a recommendation by a disciplinary panel that reviewed the original sexual assault trial of Alexander Wagar. 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. Did he also ask her what she was wearing?

Despite Camp's apology and his in-depth counseling sessions with feminist scholars, Canada's Judicial Council voted for his dismissal. The Appeal Court ordered a new trial but Wager was acquitted again last month.

"He made me hate myself and he made me feel like I should have done something. that I was some kind of slut".

The council noted that Canada's Constitution says a judge may only be removed from office through a joint resolution of Parliament.

Dozens of complaints from other members of the public followed, and Camp went on to recuse himself from cases involving sex crimes, as The Post's Kristine Phillips has reported.

The South African-born judge testified in the December hearing that he had "a nonistent" knowledge of Canadian criminal law and had not received training on sex assault cases.