Rape 'victim' asked by judge why she couldn't keep her knees together treated even worse by senior lawyer

Lawyer asks alleged victim whether she was attracted to defendant because he was 'larger than most men'

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The Independent US

An alleged rape victim who was asked by a judge why she couldn’t keep her knees together has reportedly now been asked by a defence lawyer whether she was attracted to his client because she saw that he was “larger than most men”.

The woman, whose identity is legally protected, was also faced with suggestions by the lawyer that the sex was consensual because the two had been engaging in “aggressive foreplay”, according to the The Globe and Mail.

The alleged victim has accused a 29-year-old man, Alexander Wagar, of raping her over a bathroom sink during a house party in 2011.

The lawyer reportedly claimed the woman made up the rape allegation because she was upset Mr Wagar had sex with another woman at the house after what happened in the bathroom.

The remarks came after an initial hearing about the same case in June 2014, in which the judge provoked outrage by asking the victim why she “couldn't you just keep [her] knees together” or “sink [her] bottom down into the basin so he couldn't penetrate” her.

At that time, the judge, Federal Court Justice Robin, acquitted Mr Wagar, claiming the woman, who was 19 at the time, could have stopped him. 

According to a notice of allegations posted on the Canadian Judicial Council website, Justice Camp had said: “Why couldn't you just keep your knees together? Why didn't you just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn't penetrate you?”

The judge added that young women “want to have sex, particularly if they're drunk,” according to the notice, and also said that “some sex and pain sometimes go together” and “that's not necessarily a bad thing". 

Justice Camp was investigated over his comments, which provoked outrage across the world and resulted in the new trial. He is currently undergoing a disciplinary hearing and faces the possibility of removal from the bench.

The alleged victim had said of Justice Camp’s treatment: “He made me hate myself and he made me feel like I should have done something ... that I was some kind of slut."

The retrial is being heard by a judge without a jury.

Following the lawyer's remarks at the latest hearing, Kim Stanton, of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund in Canada, said this sort of treatment of a sexual assault complainant was not a surprise.

Ms Stanton told The Globe and Mail: “Whether or not the young woman danced with the accused or complimented him on his dance moves has no bearing on whether she consented to the sexual activity in question. The question is whether the accused gained her affirmative consent.

“This sort of victim-blaming in cross-examination is a big part of why survivors of sexual assault so rarely report to the police, and the fact that this young woman is being subjected to this difficult cross-examination yet again shows considerable courage on her part."

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