'Knees together' judge resigns after judicial council suggests removal

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A Canadian judge, who shamed a sexual assault complainant by asking her why she could not "keep your knees together" during the trial, has resigned.

Camp, a provincial court judge at the time, found Wagar not guilty, but an appeals court ordered a new trial. When she replied she was drunk, he asked: "And when your ankles were held together by your jeans, your skinny jeans, why couldn't you just keep your knees together?"

Prior to his resignation, Camp faced a public hearing before the Canadian Judicial Council over his harsh comments.

Nineteen of the council's 23 judges said that the country's justice minister should remove Camp whose conduct, they said, "was so manifestly and profoundly destructive of the concept of impartiality, integrity and independence of the judicial role that public confidence is sufficiently undermined to render the judge incapable of executing the judicial office".

"Judges are expected to demonstrate knowledge of social issues, and awareness of changes in social values, humility, tolerance and respect for others", the judicial council said in its report, concluding Camp is unfit to continue being a judge.

"I would like to express my honest apology to everyone who was hurt by my comments", the judge wrote.

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According to transcripts, Mr Camp repeatedly referred to the 19-year-old complainant as the "accused" during the trial, and said in his ruling she "hasn't explained why she allowed the sex to happen if she didn't want it".

Camp is the third justice the council has requested the removal of since its founding in 1971.

At least twice, Camp told the man accused in the case that he should tell his friends to protect themselves by being patient and careful with women.

The judicial council said Camp "engaged in stereotypical or biased thinking" and "relied on flawed assumptions".

The judicial council opened its investigation in November 2015. After practicing as a barrister there, he moved his wife and three children to Calgary in 1998, focusing mostly on contract, trust and bankruptcy litigation. She called her father's comments "disgraceful", but said she stood by him, describing how he supported her when she told him she had been raped in her home, the CBC reported at the time.

After the woman told the court the alleged rape occurred on a bathroom sink, he asked why she hadn't sunk her "bottom down into the basic so he couldn't penetrate you". He argued since the 2014 trial he has taken courses in gender sensitivity and learned the law on sexual assault.