SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — 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."
The California Commission on Judicial
Performance voted 10-0 to impose a public admonishment Thursday, saying
Superior Court Judge
Derek Johnson's comments were inappropriate and a breach of judicial
"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remarks reflected outdated, biased and insensitive views about sexual assault victims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
Johnson made the comments in the 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.
Though the woman reported the criminal threats the next day, the woman did
not report the rape until 17 days later.
Johnson, a former prosecutor in the Orange
County district attorney's sex crimes unit, said during the man's 2008
sentencing that he had seen violent cases on that unit in which women's vaginas
were "shredded" by rape.
"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 commission found that Johnson's view
that a victim must resist to be a real victim of sexual assault was his opinion, not the
law. Since 1980, California law doesn't require rape victims to prove they resisted or
were prevented from resisting because of threats.
In an apology to the commission, Johnson
said his comments were inappropriate. He said his comments were the result of
his frustration during an argument with a prosecutor over the defendant's
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."
Maybe they need to put him in a cell with a few ninjas named "Tiny" and "Lil Man" to see if his body won't allow them to take his butt cookies.