After hearing the case of a man who threatened to mutilate the genitals and face of his ex-girlfreind with a screwdriver, Judge Johnson stated, “If she didn’t want sex, her body should have just shut down.”
by Rob Wiliams, The Independent
A US judge has prompted outrage after saying that a rape victim didn’t put up a fight during her assault and that if someone doesn’t want sex, the body ‘will not permit that to happen.’
Judge Derek Johnson’s comments, which echo those of outgoing U.S. representative Todd Akin, who used the phrase ‘legitimate rape’ and said women who are the victims of rape rarely get pregnant, have drawn widespread condemnation.
The states Commission on Judicial Performance has also attacked the the judge for taking ten years off the recommended sentence for the rapist in the case, imposing a six-year sentence instead.
“In the commission’s view, the judge’s remarks reflected outdated, biased and insensitive views about sexual assault victims who do not ‘put up a fight.’ Such comments cannot help but diminish public confidence and trust in the impartiality of the judiciary,” wrote Lawrence Simi, the commission’s chairman.
Judge Johnson was making the comments in the case of a man who threatened to mutilate the face and genitals of his ex-girlfriend with a heated screwdriver. The man also beat her with a metal baton and made violent threats before committing rape and forcing oral copulation.
According to police reports Judge Johnson said: ‘I’m not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something, if someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down. The body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage in inflicted, and we heard nothing about that in this case.
‘That tells me that the victim in this case, although she wasn’t necessarily willing, she didn’t put up a fight.’
The commission, which stated it only learned of the remarks in May, voted 10 to 0 that Johnson deserved his public admonishment.
The judge, who has been with Orange County Superior Court since 2000 also said the rape was ‘technical’ and not ‘a real, live criminal case.’
To treat this case like the rape cases that we all hear about is an insult to victims of rape,’the judge is reported to have told the LA Times.
He is also reported to have said: ‘I think it’s an insult. I think it trivializes a rape.’
Judge Johnson has since apologised for his comments.