Canadian judge who asked alleged rape victim to 'keep knees together' resigns

Posted March 11, 2017

In a question that had the media around the world refer to him as the "knees together judge", Camp also asked the woman why she did not just keep her knees together, again to prevent penetration.

The Canadian Judicial Council earlier Thursday had asked the Minister of Justice to dismiss Judge Robin Camp, who then issued a statement declaring his resignation.

Four of the 23 judges on the Canadian Judicial Council voted against the motion to remove Camp.

Mr Camp's comments made during a 2014 rape trial sparked outrage and drew sharp criticism from sexual assault victims and their advocates. Rather than telling the victim to "keep [her] knees together", he should have been asking her attacker why he did what he did - that's literally what a rape case is meant to be about.

Camp also said that young women "want to have sex, particularly if they're drunk", and told the accuser that "some sex and pain sometimes go together" and "that's not necessarily a bad thing". After she told the court that the alleged assault took place in a bathroom sink, Camp asked her why she hadn't sunk her "bottom down into the basin so he couldn't penetrate you".

During the 2014 sexual assault trial Mr Camp found the accused - Alexander Wagar - not guilty. 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.

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The CJC concluded Camp failed to meet these high standards and his actions and comments "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 inquiry also heard from the female complainant, who said Camp's remarks had left her fending off suicidal thoughts. "He made me hate myself and he made me feel like I should have done something, like I was some kind of a slut".

Proceedings against Camp were begun after law professor Alice Woolley of the University of Calgary and others filed a complaint about his behavior in the criminal trial. A man with these sort of regressive beliefs about women and rape has likely made horrific judgments in the past as well and his entire career should be fully examined. She said she had contemplated suicide as a result of her experience.

Camp later admitted to misconduct but argued that he should be able to keep his job. He said he had spent months educating himself on Canada's sexual assault laws, speaking with feminist scholars and seeking sensitivity training.