Judge Who Asked Complainant in Sexual Assault Case ”Why Couldn’t You Just Keep Your Knees Together?” Faces Hearing
Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault.
During a 2014 Alberta sexual assault case, Justice Robin Camp asked the 19-year-old complainant, who alleged she was raped over a bathroom sink at a party, why she didn’t just shut her knees or “sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn’t penetrate you.” Now, Camp is facing a public hearing that will determine whether or not he should lose his job.
The CBC reports that, in addition to the aforementioned statements, Camp also repeatedly referred to the complainant as “the accused” during the trial and told the prosecutor “I hope you don’t live too long.” (What…even….) Camp acquitted the defendant of sexual assault, but Alberta’s Court of Appeal overturned that ruling in 2015 and called for a new trial.
In a notice of response regarding the hearing, Camp, who is not currently presiding over any cases, says he “understands his comments were hurtful to survivors of sexual assault and to Canadians in general,” and that he has apologized in the past and plans to apologize again at the hearing.
He also alleges that his statements were the result of “stereotypical beliefs and discredited myths,” and that he still believes he can make a positive contribution as a member of the Canadian judiciary. In the past two years, the Canadian Press reports Camp “has undergone training and counselling with a superior court judge, a psychologist and an expert in sexual assault law.”
The hearing is slated for this September, at which time a five-person committee will determine whether Camp is fit to remain on Canada’s Federal Court bench.
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