A Canadian judge's remark on the sexual assault victim's weight and her presumed consent has dragged him under fire.
Quebec court Judge Jean-Paul Braun had said, "You could say she's a little overweight, but she has a pretty face, huh?" during the May trial, which was first reported by The Journal de Montreal newspaper. He had also stated that the 17-year-old girl was a "little flattered" by the attention she received from her alleged assailant.
Provincial Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée filed a complaint against Braun after finding his remarks unacceptable, The BBC reported.
According to reports, the teen victim has testified against a taxi driver for assaulting her while she was a passenger in his vehicle. In her testimony, the girl said that Carlo Figaro had tried to kiss her, licked her face and groped her after she boarded his vehicle.
But the judge went out of context during the trial, according to a recording obtained by the Journal de Montreal and commented on the victim's weight and appearance. He also talked about the several degrees of the consent required to kiss someone. "I conclude that he tried to kiss her, that can be an acceptable gesture," Braun said.
The judge in question also suggested that the girl might have been flattered by the attention she got from the accused as "it was perhaps the first time that he was interested in her".
However, eventually the 49-year-old Figaro was found guilty of the assault. He is now appealing the verdict.
This is not the first time Braun has come under scrutiny for his remarks. In 2013, he had told a 19-year -old victim who had had her breasts grabbed by a telecom technician at home that it was not the "crime of the century".
"This judge clearly lacks information on the problem. It would be important for him to revisit the concept of consent," Sophie Charpentier, a social worker, said.
Meanwhile, the Judicial Council has refused to comment on the complaints. It said they review complaints before determining whether to launch an investigation. If necessary an inquiry committee decides on possible sanctions.