Panel to review judge who asked woman why she couldn't keep knees together

OTTAWA -- The Canadian Judicial Council has announced the next step in its review of a judge who asked a sexual assault complainant why she couldn't keep her knees together.

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The council says Justice Robin Camp's decision of a case in 2014 will be referred to a review panel.

The panel will be made up of three members of the council, a judge and a layperson.

Camp, who was an Alberta provincial court judge at the time, acquitted a man of the sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman after deciding that the accused man's version of the events was more credible.

Three legal academics filed a complaint about Camp's decision, saying he disregarded the law and the way he treated the complainant was appalling.

According to a court transcript of the case, Camp questioned the woman's morals, suggested her attempts to fight off her attacker were feeble and described the woman as "the accused" throughout the trial.

Camp told the man after he found him not guilty that all men have to be more gentle and careful with women, and that he should pass the message onto his friends so they can "protect themselves" and not "get into trouble."

The Federal Court has ordered Camp to no longer handle cases involving sexual issues pending the council's review.

Camp sent out a statement after the council announced in early November that it would hear the complaint.

He apologized to the woman and to all women who might hesitate before reporting a sexual assault.

"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," he said in a statement.

"I am deeply troubled that things that I said would hurt the innocent. I am speaking particularly to those who hesitate to come forward to report abuse of any kind and who are reluctant to give evidence about abuse, sexual or otherwise."


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