Judge in Rape Case: 'Why Couldn't You Keep Your Knees Together?'

Robin Camp now says his thinking was 'infected with stereotypical beliefs'
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2016 8:00 AM CDT
Judge in Rape Case: 'Why Couldn't You Keep Your Knees Together?'
Judge Robin Camp is facing an inquiry over his handling of a 2014 sex assault case.   (Shutterstock)

Two years after a Canadian judge repeatedly called an alleged rape victim "the accused," asked her "why couldn't you just keep your knees together?" and acquitted the actual accused of sexual assault, Robin Camp is facing a public hearing that will determine whether he should keep his job. Camp, an Alberta provincial judge before being promoted to the Federal Court, has received counseling and plans to apologize at the September hearing, reports the Canadian Press. In a "notice of response" filed in advance of the hearing, Camp says that he "understands his comments were hurtful to survivors of sexual assault and to Canadians in general," the CBC reports. The review comes after four law professors filed a complaint describing Camp's conduct as "dismissive, if not contemptuous" of sex assault laws, the CBC earlier reported; Alberta's Court of Appeal overturned the 2014 acquittal and ordered a new trial.

The 2014 case involved a then 19-year-old woman who accused a man of raping her over a bathroom sink at a party. Among other comments, Camp asked why the woman couldn't "just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn't penetrate you?" A judge, psychologist, and expert on sexual assault laws will all testify at Camp's hearing. Camp's pre-hearing filing says that "he now understands that some of his prior thinking was infected with stereotypical beliefs and discredited myths." He also agrees that his comment to the prosecutor that "I hope you don't live too long" was "rude and derogatory" and will "apologize unreservedly" for that as well. Camp is not currently hearing any cases. (The judge in the Stanford rape case has been pulled from a new sex assault trial.)

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