A Canada Federal Court justice is battling to save his job after allegedly asking the woman in a rape case: "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?"
Justice Robin Camp now acknowledges his comments berating the accuser were "hurtful," but believes that training and counselling will make him a better judge and that he should not be ousted from his position.
He will make that argument at an upcoming hearing before the Canadian Judicial Council of five judges and lawyers. Camp was charged with six allegations of misconduct after a public outcry following his comments in the 2014 rape case, reports the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
The sex assault trial involved a 19-year-old woman who accused Scott Wagner of raping her over a bathroom sink at a house party. Camp not only asked her why she couldn't keep her knees together but also: "Why didn't you just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn't penetrate you?"
Camp acquitted Scott Wagner of sexual assault, but a new trial has been ordered against Wagner who has been re-arrested.
Camp insisted in a filing to the judicial panel that he will be a better judge after undergoing counselling with a judge, psychologist and an expert on sex assault law "with a view to improving his understanding of the law, the social context of sexual violence and the psychological impact of sexual assault".
According to the filing, Camp believes his experience in the wake of the sex assault trial has "left him better equipped to judge cases with the empathy, wisdom and sensitivity [and] now understands that some of his prior thinking was infected with stereotypical beliefs and discredited myths".
The judicial committee will recommend whether Camp should remain on the bench at the Federal Court even though his questionable conduct occurred when he was a provincial court judge in Calgary. His seven-day hearing begins in early September.
There has been recent outrage over lenient rape penalties, including one resulting in a six-month sentence against a former champion swimmer at California's Stanford University. A move is underway to oust the judge in that case as well.