Canadian judge facing removal over rape comments

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — A Canadian federal judge is facing possible removal for asking the accuser in a 2014 rape trial: "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?"

The Canadian Judicial Council is determining the fate of Justice Robin Camp, 64, who apologized Friday for his questioning of the 19-year-old woman.

Camp, who was born in South Africa but moved to Calgary in 1998, was a provincial court judge at the time of the rape trial. He acquitted the man accused, Alexander Wagar, in the case after deciding his testimony was more credible.

Court transcripts show Camp also told the woman "pain and sex sometimes go together," and referred to her as "the accused" throughout the trial.

Camp's verdict was overturned on appeal and a new trial was ordered.

Camp blamed a lack of knowledge regarding Canada's sexual-assault law for the remarks.

He said he had been in South Africa during the 1960s through the 1980s and had not understood the changes to Canadian sexual-assault law intended to protect women from discriminatory attitudes.

"I didn't know what I didn't know," he told two panel members who asked why he hadn't used the legal-education funds he receives as a judge to improve his knowledge of sexual-assault law.

Closing arguments in the judicial review take place Monday. The Canadian Judicial Council will then forward its final recommendation to the federal justice minister.