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Judge Finally Resigned Over Comment at Rape Trial: ‘Why Couldn’t You Just Keep Your Knees Together?’

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Remember that Canadian federal judge who asked a rape victim in court why she couldn’t “just keep your knees together”? Well, he finally resigned yesterday, after a judicial panel published a report calling for him to be removed from office. So, basically, he had no choice.

This all happened back in 2014 when Justice Robin Camp of the Alberta Federal Court belittled the 19-year-old woman, during trial, often saying how she could have done more to defend herself or stop the rape from happening at all–as if it’s a woman’s job to make sure a man doesn’t rape her. Because of that, naturally, the Canadian Judicial Council conducted “a 15-month review of the exchange after receiving dozens of complaints from the public.”

They found, unsurprisingly, that 64-year-old Camp was definitely in the wrong and that his behavior was inappropriate, stating in a report that it was “manifestly and profoundly destructive of the concept of impartiality, integrity and independence.” The report went on to say:

“Public confidence is sufficiently undermined to render the judge incapable of executing the judicial office. The judge’s removal is warranted.”

After that, all Camp could do was issue an apology statement to “everyone who was hurt.” The apology has been accepted by the Council.

While it’s somewhat vindicating for the victim in this trial, and victims everywhere, to see this judge’s dismissal, it also feels somewhat hollow. This doesn’t erase the damage Camp did to the alleged victim during the trial–and the damage he has done by perpetuating the same, tired stereotypes that women who get drunk at parties deserve to be raped (because they’re “asking for it”) or that you can stop a rape from happening to you.

Still… one step at a time, I suppose, right?

 

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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