by Amber Loveshe
A 19-year old Canadian woman testifying against the man who allegedly raped her at a house party in 2014 was asked by the presiding judge, “Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?” before he ruled her perpetrator not guilty, according to Eyewitness News 3.
Canadian Federal Court Judge Robin Camp went on to justify the situation by stating that the victim had been drinking when the incident happened and even mentioned that some individuals prefer pain during intercourse, saying that, “that’s not necessarily a bad thing.” The case was closed in 2014, but Camp now faces the possibility of losing his position with the Canadian Federal Court because of his insensitive comments.
When asked to vindicate his previous statements, Camp claimed that his rude comments had stemmed from a lack of training on how to handle sexual assault cases. “My colleagues knew my knowledge of Canadian law was very minimal,” he asserted in his hearing before the judicial council.
While he awaits his fate as a judge, the victim he tormented in court had to fear for her safety, knowing that her perpetrator was able to walk free. The case was eventually appealed, and the verdict was overturned, with a new trial set for November. While this is a partial relief for her, this court case highlights the undeniable bias that continues to permeate the legal system about sexual assault cases.
Often the victims are blamed while the alleged criminals’ actions are justified. Whether it be resorting to analyzing the victims’ outfits, alcohol consumption, or previous sexual history, it is shameful that our society still avoids the true problem with sexual assault: its perpetrators. A law degree simply is not necessary to understand the value and necessity of consent in sexual encounters.