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A California Superior Court judge is being lambasted for comments he made suggesting a woman isn’t a victim of sexual assault unless she “put up a fight.”When hearing a case about sexual assault in 2008, Judge Derek Johnson acknowledged he isn’t a gynecologist but said he knows “if someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down,” Sky News reported Friday.
“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 reportedly said before sentencing the rapist to six years behind bars — a far cry from the 16-year sentence requested by the prosecution.
On Thursday the California Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously voted to publicly admonish the judge, saying his views that a woman must resist the assault to be considered a real victim aren’t consistent with the actual laws.
The commission said it didn’t find out about Johnson’s comments until May 2012. It’s unclear why it took so long for the issue to reach the commission.
Johnson’s comments sound all too similar to comments made by Todd Akin, the defeated Missouri Senate candidate.
This August, Akin drew national ire when he suggested victims of “legitimate rape” can’t get pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
The Republican party was quick to condemn Akin’s comments, and he ultimately apologized profusely for the remarks.
Johnson has also apologized for his comments, saying they were inappropriate and that he made them because he was frustrated with the prosecutor for arguing over the man’s sentence, according to Sky News.