Federal court says judge off all cases pending review of sex assault trial

The Federal Court says a judge who once asked a sexual assault victim why she couldn't keep her knees together will not be hearing cases until further notice.

OTTAWA — The Federal Court says a judge who once asked a sexual assault victim why she couldn’t keep her knees together will not be hearing cases until further notice.

The court decided earlier this month that Justice Robin Camp would not be handling cases involving sexual issues, pending a review.

The Canadian Judicial Council is investigating Camp’s conduct of a trial he heard last year when he was a provincial court judge in Alberta.

The judge acquitted a man of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman but the verdict was overturned on appeal.

Complaints were launched against Camp’s trial remarks, saying they showed the judge was sexist and disrespectful of the woman and disregarded the law.

A spokesman for Chief Justice Paul Crampton says Camp’s priority now is to take gender sensitivity counselling.

During the trial in Calgary, Camp questioned the woman’s morals, called her “unsavoury” and suggested that “sex and pain sometimes go together?” He also referred to her a few times as “the accused.”

In finding the man not guilty, the judge told him 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.”

Camp has apologized to the woman in the case and all women who may have been frustrated by his comments.

“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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