CA Judge Suggests If Vagina Not ‘Shredded’ It’s Not ‘Real’ Rape

Author: December 14, 2012 6:05 am

no-means-no

Even a heated screwdriver and death threats weren’t enough to convince a misogynist California judge that the rape was “real.”

The California Commission on Judicial Performance issued a public admonishment of Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson on Thursday, saying Johnson did not “promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary” and “reflected outdated, biased and insensitive views about sexual assault victims who do not ‘put up a fight.’”

Johnson made the shocking remarks at the 2008 sentencing of a defendant convicted by jury of rape, forcible oral copulation, domestic battery with corporal injury, stalking, and three counts of criminal threats, with use of a deadly weapon as to one count, according to the Commission’s release.


During the crime, the defendant had “heated a screwdriver and threatened to use it to maim [the victim’s] face and vagina, threatened to burn her face and hair with a lit cigarette lighter, and threatened to shoot and kill her. He ordered her to perform fellatio, raped her, and ejaculated into her mouth.”

Judge Johnson, who ironically is a former sex crimes prosecutor, wasn’t buying “No means no.” Johnson’s courtroom comments are included in the Commission’s release:

I’ve seen sexual assault. I have seen women who have been ravaged and savaged, whose vagina was shredded by the rape…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. That tells me that the victim in this case, although she wasn’t necessarily willing, she didn’t put up a fight. And to treat this case like the rape cases that we all hear about is an insult to victims of rape. I think it’s an insult. I think it trivializes a rape.

The prosecutor then responds that while the rapist was the victim’s ex-boyfriend, the woman didn’t “feel any less a rape victim because she had a [past] relationship with him.” The attorney pushes the judge on why he isn’t counting the defendant’s threats and use of a weapon as an aggravated count.

Johnson responds:

I just found the threats to be technical threats. I found this whole case to be a technical case. The rape is technical. The forced oral copulation is technical. It’s more of a crim[inal] law test than a real live criminal case.

No doubt this was a “real live” rape for the woman who experienced it, despite Johnson’s interpretation. The judge also said the rape crime was “only worth six years,” rejecting the prosecutor’s request for 16 years, based on a maximum sentence of 8 years each for two rape “occasions:” one for the vaginal rape and one for the oral.

At some point, Johnson issued an apology, explaining that he said those things because he was aggravated with the prosecutor for requesting what he considered to be too long of a sentence for the rape.

The Commission concluded that Johnson’s comments “created the impression that the judge was not impartial in cases involving rape without serious bodily injury showing resistance by the victim, suggesting they are not victims of a ‘real’ crime.”

Johnson has held a bench on the Orange County Superior Court for 12 years, which makes one wonder how many miscarriages of justice have happened under a judge who believes women haven’t been raped if they haven’t been mutilated?

You may remember that Sen. Todd Akin (R-MO) lost his Senate race in November after saying that women who experience “legitimate” rape  have “ways to try to shut that whole [pregnancy] thing down.”

Like Akin lost his seat, Johnson also should lose his seat on the Superior Court bench. It is not the lack of significant vaginal tearing that “trivializes” a rape. It is the misogynistic attitude of men like Johnson, who think that “No doesn’t mean no,” and that the burden falls with women to either defend themselves better or accept brutal beatings before being validated as a “real” rape victim whose assailant deserves the maximum jail time.

Oh, by the way, this same judge, Derek G. Johnson, bent over backwards to award a prison inmate premium cured meats. Johnson actually declared Seinfeld’s “Festivus” a real holiday to allow the inmate’s request for “double portions” of premium kosher salami (the regular salami wasn’t good enough for Malcolm Alarmo King, who isn’t even Jewish). Johnson’s ruling on the “Festivus” case was eventually overturned.

Do you think this joke of a judge should be removed from the bench?

Write to the California Commission on Judicial Performance (which doesn’t accept complaints via phone or email):
455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 14400
San Francisco, CA 94102
Telephone: (415) 557-1200
FAX: (415) 557-1266

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