Judge Who Said Rape Victim 'Didn't Put Up a Fight' Remarkably Allowed to Keep His Job

Illustration for article titled Judge Who Said Rape Victim 'Didn't Put Up a Fight' Remarkably Allowed to Keep His Job

Superior Court of Orange County Judge Derek G. Johnson said some pretty unbelievable garbage about rape during a sentencing hearing in 2008. Honestly, it's so awful I'm surprised he wasn't tapped to be a 2012 Republican Senate candidate. I KNOW, I told you it was bad.


OK, so at the sentencing hearing, the prosecutor called to impose a 16-year prison term on Metin Gurel, a man convicted of rape, forcible oral copulation, domestic battery, stalking and making threats against his former live-in girlfriend. Oh, and the day of the rape, he had threatened to mutilate her face and vagina with a heated screwdriver.

The wise words of this Supreme Court Justice? Here you go:

"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, who has been on the Orange County Superior Court since 2000, also declared the rape "technical," and not "a real, live criminal case."


He denied the prosecutor's call to impose a 16-year prison term, and instead went with six years.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Commission on Judicial Performance, the state agency that monitors misconduct, "said that Johnson's remarks flew in the face of California law, which does not require proof that a rape victim tried to resist an attack."

"In the commission's view, the judge's remarks reflected outdated, biased and insensitive views about sexual assault victims who do not ‘put up a fight,'" the agency said in a news release Thursday.


"Such comments cannot help but diminish public confidence and trust in the impartiality of the judiciary. In his response to the commission and at his appearance, Judge Johnson conceded his comments were inappropriate and apologized."

I'm sorry, but apologized to who? The woman who wasn't really raped because her body didn't SHUT DOWN THE RAPE? I'm not sure what that means — does he think women are like Iron Men and that a protective coating comes on to defend us from rape rape? Or what, do our arms become nunchucks and our nipples shoot throwing stars? I'm genuinely curious — what does he mean?


And perhaps she didn't fight back because of dozens of terrifying reasons? Ugh, why am I even going over this? It's all just so ridiculous. Here's the real issue: Johnson remains on the bench. WTF? No, really, WTF? This man is dangerous. He lacks the ability and/or will to understand basic terms and concepts. How is someone who doesn't know what rape is allowed to continue in a job where that knowledge is required. He's demonstrated a clear bias against women, and it's irresponsible for this committee to leave him on the bench. It's not about anger and outrage, it's about truth and justice.

And for what it's worth, this is the same dumbass who thought Festivus was a real holiday. God help us all.


*You know any sentence that starts that way isn't going to end well.

[LA Times]


Violet Baudelaire

What part of "not necessarily willing" says "consent"???

Also - for ladies - I've been told at times that fighting back can be one of the worst things you can do. As in, if you're there and someone is being violent towards you and fighting back means they will hit you and hurt you more and damage you more, the most sensible thing to do is to NOT try to engage the other person physically. Is something a crazy person told me? It always somewhat made sense in a completely horrible sort of way - don't do something that is going to get you more hurt than you're already going to get.