September 9, 2016 7:30 am
Updated: September 10, 2016 12:46 pm

Alberta Justice Robin Camp apologizes at hearing over ‘knees together’ comment

WATCH ABOVE: Some stunning admissions from a Calgary judge. Justice Robin Camp apologized for what he admits were rude and insulting comments made to the complainant in a sex assault trial. His name has become inextricably tied to troubling remarks he made, asking why an alleged sex assault victim couldn’t keep her knees together or move to avoid the assault. Jill Croteau with more.


Alberta Justice Robin Camp appeared Friday before a Canadian judicial inquiry where he repeatedly apologized for comments he made in 2014 when he asked a sexual assault complainant why she couldn’t keep her knees together.

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“I’m very sorry … I wish I hadn’t said them,” Camp testified before the inquiry panel of five Superior Court judges and senior lawyers. “I was not the good judge I thought I was. I
struck the wrong tone in counsel submissions. I was rude and facetious.”

The inquiry is weighing whether Camp, who made the comments as a Calgary provincial court judge, should be removed from the bench.

READ MORE: Alberta judge who asked sex assault complainant about keeping her knees closed has changed, says mentor

Camp, who is 64, acquitted a man of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman after deciding the man’s version of events was more credible.

On Friday, Camp expressed remorse while testifying and apologized to the complainant for his “hurtful” and “inappropriate” comments.

“I didn’t realize the implication came with those words,” he said. “I held onto the myth that women were supposed to fight off aggression.”

“I’ve let my family down. I’m sorry for the embarrassment I’ve caused to my wife and daughter,” he told the inquiry.

READ MORE: Sex Assault complainant testifies at review of Alberta judge who asked her why she couldn’t keep her knees together

The hearing heard earlier this week from the complainant in the 2014 case who told the panel Camp’s comments made her suicidal.

“He made me hate myself and he made me feel like I should have done something … that I was some kind of slut,” she said Tuesday.

Transcripts show Camp also repeatedly referred to the complainant, mistakenly, as “the accused” during the trial, something he did again Friday during his apology.

“The thing I feel worst about is the questions I asked the accused,” said Camp, which drew an audible reaction from the hearing.

After his lawyer brought the error to Camp’s attention he corrected himself, saying: “The person I most want to apologize to is the complainant.”

READ MORE: 21 other judges have made offensive comments to complainants without removal so Robin Camp should stay: lawyer

On Thursday, three witnesses – a Manitoba justice, a law professor and a psychologist – testified that Camp has worked to change his attitude and hadn’t been trained properly about sexual assault laws in Canada or how to conduct a sexual assault trial.

“Canadians deserve better of their judges,” Camp said Friday.

*With files from Jill Croteau and Reid Fiest

LIVE BLOG: Latest updates on Alberta Justice Robin Camp’s hearing over ‘knees together’ comment

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