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Judge: Victims' Bodies Can Prevent Rape

Todd Akin all over again?
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 14, 2012 3:27 AM CST
Updated Dec 14, 2012 5:00 AM CST
Judge: Victims' Bodies Can Prevent Rape
A judge has said a victim's body can prevent rape.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A Southern California judge is being publicly admonished for saying a rape victim "didn't put up a fight" during her assault and that if someone doesn't want sexual intercourse, the body "will not permit that to happen." Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson, a former prosecutor in the Orange County district attorney's sex crimes unit, made the comments in the 2008 case of a man who threatened to mutilate the face and genitals of his ex-girlfriend with a heated screwdriver, beat her with a metal baton, and made other violent threats before committing rape, forced oral copulation, and other crimes.

  • "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.
In an apology to the California Commission on Judicial Performance, Johnson said his comments were inappropriate and resulted from his frustration during an argument with a prosecutor over the defendant's sentence in the 2008 case. Johnson said he believed the prosecutor's request of a 16-year sentence was not authorized by law. Johnson sentenced the rapist to six years instead, saying that's what the case was "worth." (Read more judge stories.)

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