A Canadian federal court judge who made a series of “appalling” comments during a rape trial has been placed under review and barred from hearing any sexual conduct cases. While Justice Robin Camp was acting as a provincial judge in Alberta, he acquitted a man of an alleged sexual assault against a 19-year-old homeless woman. During the proceedings, Camp asked the woman, “Why didn’t you just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn’t penetrate you?” and “Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?” He also made the rather unsettling observation that “sex and pain sometimes go together (and) that’s not necessarily a bad thing.” A complaint was subsequently made by three law professors, who said that Camp’s behavior was “appalling” and “showed disregard for the law.” A statement issued by the federal court noted that Camp has agreed to undergo sensitivity training, and also included an apology from the judge. “I have come to recognize that things that I said and attitudes I displayed during the trial of this matter, and in my decision, caused deep and significant pain to many people,” Camp wrote. “My sincere apology goes out, in the first place, to the young woman who was the complainant in the matter. I also apologize to the women who experience feelings of anger, frustration and despair at hearing of these events.”
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