California Judge Pulls A Todd Akin

A state court judge in California said some rather stupid things during a sentencing hearing in a rape case:

The state agency that monitors judicial misconduct has publicly admonished an Orange County judge, saying his remarks in a sexual assault case breached judicial ethics and created an impression of bias against the victim.

At a June 2008 sentencing hearing, Superior Court Judge Derek G. Johnson denied a prosecutor’s call to impose a 16-year prison term on Metin Gurel, who had been convicted of rape, forcible oral copulation, domestic battery, stalking and making threats against his former live-in girlfriend.

On the day he raped her, prosecutors said, Gurel had threatened to mutilate her face and vagina with a heated screwdriver.

Johnson decided to impose a six-year sentence.

“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.”

The San Francisco-based Commission on Judicial Performance 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“In the commission’s view, the judge’s remarks reflected outdated, biased and insensitive views about sexual assault victims who do not ‘put up a fight,’ ” the agency said in a news release Thursday.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.”

Johnson remains on the bench.

Of course he does.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    $20 says he is a Republican.

  2. John Peabody says:

    Asshole.

  3. swbarnes2 says:

    Ah, another “Oh, how hilarious when people who aren’t straight white men suffer from Republican policies!” post.

    The judge did this four years ago. He didn’t get any ideas from Akin.

    This guy and Akin, and Mourduck are not isolated crazies. They are not get getting this stuff from nowhere. They are getting it from the same place that conservatives and Republicans get all their ideas about how society works.

  4. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Don’t underestimate the number of thumpers out there. It’s not just the South or the Mid-West. And they hold public as well as private offices. Pretty f’n scary.

  5. Ben Wolf says:

    This makes Akin look calm and analytical. Judge Lovarape isn’t saying women don’t get pregnant when raped, he’s saying a trap door in the vagina swings down and keeps out the offending penis.

    I wonder if this man has ever had sex with a female?

  6. swbarnes2 says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    I wonder if this man has ever had sex with a female?

    One hopes not. I wonder if he has to set the bar for “real” rape that high in order for him to be on the right side of it.

  7. Davebo says:

    Don’t underestimate the number of thumpers out there. It’s not just the South or the Mid-West.

    No, it’s Orange County California. Basically Alabama without the poverty as far as mind sets go.

  8. al-Ameda says:

    “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 sure his apology was on the order of, “I apologize if some people were offended…”