Canada judge resigns over 'keep your knees together' comment in rape trial

Trevor Jackson
March 11, 2017

A Canadian judge infamous for asking an alleged sexual assault victim why she didn't just keep her "knees together" during a trial three years ago is resigning.

Justice Robin Camp said in a statement released by his lawyer that he will resign today and that he's sorry for the hurt he has caused. "Justice Camp's misconduct was the product of ignorance, not animus" Addario wrote.

Camp is the third justice the council has requested the removal of since its founding in 1971.

Throughout the trial, Camp repeatedly referred to the complainant as "the accused".

According to reports, in the 2014 case, he had asked a 19-year-old woman: "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?" The committee also said Camp's comments made during the trial were incompatible with the requirements set out in the Judges Act and therefore Camp should be removed from the bench.

The Canadian Judicial Council held a hearing in September to determine whether Camp's comments were grounds for removal, with multiple law professors arguing that his espoused "myths" and "stereotypes" about sexual assault clouded his judgment during the trial.

At the end of that trial, Camp ruled to acquit the accused man - a decision that was later overturned on appeal.

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The review concluded he acted in a manner that seriously undermined public confidence in the judiciary.

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said on Thursday she is confident Mr Camp received due process in his disciplinary review and accepts his decision to step down as of 10 March. The man was found not guilty a second time, which Camp said contributed to his claim that he deserved a second chance.

"Judges are expected to demonstrate knowledge of social issues, and awareness of changes in social values, humility, tolerance and respect for others", the judicial council said in its report, concluding Camp is unfit to continue being a judge.

"He made me hate myself and he made me feel like I should have done something. that I was some kind of slut". The Canadian Judicial Council is composed of 23 members. She called her father's comments "disgraceful", but said she stood by him, describing how he supported her when she told him she had been raped in her home, the CBC reported at the time.

The woman alleged she was raped at a house party in Calgary. He said he spent months educating himself on Canada's sexual assault laws, speaking with feminist scholars and undergoing sensitivity training.

"Having regard to the totality of the Judge's conduct and all of its consequences", the panel wrote, "his apologies and efforts at remediation do not adequately fix the damage caused to public confidence".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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