Canadian judge who told rape victim to keep her "knees together" resigns

Federal Court Justice Robin Camp leaves a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry in a Calgary hotel on Sept. 9 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Todd Korol

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.

In a report released on Thursday, the Canadian Judicial Council said the conduct by Justice Robin Camp of Alberta Federal Court during a 2014 sex assault trial was so "manifestly and profoundly destructive" of the concept of judicial impartiality and independence that he could not stay in office.

At the end of the trial, Camp acquitted Wagar.

During the trial in June 2014, Camp commented to the survivor, "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?"

"Justice Camp's misconduct was the product of ignorance, not animus".

The following scathing review, published by the Canadian Judicial Council on March 8, concluded that Camp's behavior during the trial undermined public confidence and rendered the judge "incapable of executing the judicial office".

Wilson-Raybould said the extremely rare removal would have been needed "to ensure the integrity and public confidence in the justice system and the judiciary".

Since its creation in 1971, the judicial watchdog has only recommended the removal of two other judges from the bench.




"I would like to express my honest apology to everyone who was hurt by my comments", he said in a statement.

He also said, "pain and sex sometimes go together" and had referred to the complainant as "the accused", court records show.

The council's decision supported a recommendation by a disciplinary panel that Camp be removed from the bench for his comments in the original sexual assault trial of Alexander Wagar. The man was found not guilty a second time, which Camp said contributed to his claim that he deserved a second chance.

The inquiry also heard from the female complainant, who said Camp's remarks had left her fending off suicidal thoughts. Did he also ask her what she was wearing?

"According to Camp, as documented by the statement of allegations, the survivor could have avoided being raped if she "[skewed] her pelvis slightly [to] avoid him.

During the council's investigation, Camp said he didn't realize his comments were problematic until his verdict was appealed, according to Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

He said that she should have kept her legs together or manoeuvred herself so that it would not have been possible for Wagar to penetrate her. He said he spent months educating himself on Canada's sexual assault laws, speaking with feminist scholars and undergoing sensitivity training.

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