“Shut that whole thing down” Todd Akin is unfortunately not an isolated problem in the startlingly ongoing discussion surrounding rape and biology. It seems that another man, a judge no less, subscribes to the theory that a victim of sexual assault can prevent rape with her body. Come again?
Associated Press reports that Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson just got a little bit of a reality check for saying the following:
“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 is inflicted, and we heard nothing about that in this case,” Johnson said.
The California Commission on Judicial Performance described Judge Johnson’s Todd Akin School of Rape comments as “inappropriate” and “a breach of judicial ethics.” The commission then voted 10-0 to go ahead with a public admonishment:
“In the commission’s view, the judge’s remarks reflected outdated, biased and insensitive views about sexual assault victims who do not `put up a fight.’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 J. Simi, the commission’s chairman.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Emphasis on the “outdated.” The comission also added that Judge Johnson’s comments reflected more of his own “insensitive” opinion rather than the law.
The case that Judge Johnson was preceding over concerned a man who allegedly raped his ex-girlfriend, forced her into oral copulation, and then threatened to mutilate her face and genitals with a heated screw driver. He reportedly also threatened beat her with a metal baton along with other acts of violence.
The victim informed police of the threats the following day but waited 17 days to report the alleged rape.
Judge Johnson, who used to be a sex crimes unit prosecutor I might add, has since apologized for his comments also calling them “inappropriate.” He clarifies that he said what he said out of “frustration” during an argument with a prosecutor regarding a defendant’s sentence.
Nevertheless. Gaffes — even self-admitted ones — can be pretty telling sometimes.