Trivializing the legal system.

By not taking rape seriously (though, I’m glad to see the public admonishment that followed… four years later). This makes me sick:

“I’m not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something,” the judge said, according to documents released Thursday. “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 judge said.

The judge, who has been with the Orange County Superior Court since 2000, also declared the rape “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 said. “I think it’s an insult. I think it trivializes a rape.”

Judge Johnson has now been publicly admonished, and has apologized, but the sentence he imposed four years ago was likely influenced by the views reflected in these comments (which, of course, don’t even comport with the law).

3 thoughts on “Trivializing the legal system.

  1. When you read the full story, and see how the rapist threatened her, its astonishing that even the most callous judge could say this.

  2. Unfortunately The Arbourist is right, not only do things like this (though perhaps not usually this extreme) occur regularly, but judges are like royalty in America and they always get away with it. I am reminded of an article I read while still in law school discussing a woman attorney told by a male judge, something along the lines of , “The next time you are in my courtroom I better not see you in pants.” Really…pants. Like its 1812?! I’m surprised he didn’t refer to them as bloomers. And what could the woman do to defend herself? Nothing. Rules exist but in practice they are not very helpful it seems to me as someone young and new to the profession.

    Not only rage inducing, this sends chills down my spine as my understanding is often things people say revolve around themselves and their personal experiences, so how many women did HE rape thinking if they really didn’t want it they would’ve shut the whole thing down?? The idea that the judges let these things happen because if they make the laws different they admit to the laws being against what they enjoy and deem acceptable, the security of the male dominated/officiated status quo on so many levels.

    I’m so so tired (six month old that won’t sleep!! any suggestions?) and angered by this post so I hope my statements made as much sense as they did in my head.

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