Judge rebuked for saying rape victim should have ‘put up a fight’

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.

Johnson decided to impose a six-year sentence.

“If someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down,” the judge said, according to documents released Thursday.. “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.

Johnson remains on the bench.

 

 

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