Judge Who Asked A Sexual Assault Survivor Why She Didn’t ‘Put Her Knees Together’ Resigns

by Brianna Kirkham

Remember that Canadian judge who asked a sexual assault survivor why she couldn’t just keep her “knees together” to avoid penetration? Well, because men are rewarded for saying misogynistic things, he became a federal judge last year.

But in an act of the universe setting things right, he announced his resignation effective March 10, following the recommendation of a Canadian judiciary board.

Back in 2014, Judge Robin Camp was presiding over a sexual assault case in which the plaintiff was testifying about her attack that took place in the bathroom of a party. Throughout the case, the judge questioned her about why she didn’t do more to stop the attack. 

According to court records, along with asking the 19-year-old survivor why she didn’t keep her knees together, Camp actually referred to the plaintiff and survivor as “the accused” numerous times, and suggested she could have “skewed” or “sunk” her pelvis away from her attacker’s penis. He also told her, ‘pain and sex sometimes go together.’ And after dismissing the case, Camp told the alleged attacker to warn his friends about women.

‘They have to be far more gentle with women,’ he said. ‘To protect themselves, they have to be very careful.’

Thankfully, following his acquittal, the trial was overturned.

In a ruling announced recently, the Canadian judiciary board said Camp ‘showed obvious disdain for some of the characteristics of the regime enacted by Parliament in respect of sexual assault issues’ and that he was ‘incapable of executing the judicial office.’

Victim-blaming has no place anywhere, let alone in the courtroom. Following his comments, Camp underwent counseling and received training in Canada’s sexual assault laws. Now, Parliament is considering additional training for all judges — something the U.S. should seriously consider.

In a time when little justice sees the light of day, it feels good to have small victories to celebrate.


Photo via Anders Pearson/Flicker Creative Commons

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