The sexual assault case that caused a judicial hearing over the controversial comments of Justice Robin Camp is back in court today for retrial. Justice Camp acquitted the defendant of sexual assault in 2014 after concluding the man’s version of events was the more convincing. The Alberta Court of Appeal caught Camp’s errors and returned the case for retrial.
Transcripts from the initial trial show Camp suggested her attempts to fight off her attacker were feeble and described her as “the accused” throughout the trial. He asked her: “Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?” and said “pain and sex sometimes go together.”
The retrial is being heard before a judge alone.
Kim Stanton, legal director of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, a women’s advocacy group, says many will be watching the retrial closely.
Stanton said: “I think there will be heightened scrutiny of this case. That’s understandable given the extraordinary attention that the Robin Camp inquiry generated and also, in general, because of the situation over the last year in Canada, more with respect to sexual assault allegations in fairly high-profile cases. There’s more interest now and that’s a good thing.”
Stanton expects it will be hard for the young woman to return for the second trial: “It would be terribly difficult given her horrendous experience in the first trial. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for her to go back into court a second time.”
A panel from the Canadian Judicial Council, which held a hearing on Camp’s conduct, has not yet issued their recommendation on whether he should remain on the bench.