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Remove Derek G. Johnson from the bench

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In 2008 at a sentencing hearing, the prosecutor called to impose a 16-year prison term on Metin Gurel, a man convicted of rape, forcible oral copulation, domestic battery, stalking and making threats against his former live-in girlfriend. On the day of the rape, he had threatened to mutilate her face and vagina with a heated screwdriver.

Justice Johnson's statement to the prosecutor is as follows: "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." He denied the prosecutor's call to impose a 16-year prison term, and instead went with six years.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Commission on Judicial Performance, the state agency that monitors misconduct, "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 In the commission's view, the judge's remarks reflected outdated, biased and insensitive views about sexual assault victims who do not ‘put up a fight,'" the agency said in a news release Thursday.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."

1) Apologized to WHO? The woman who was raped? The prosecutor, on behalf of the People of California? All women who have been raped/sexually assaulted? It isn't enough to apologize to the Commission for getting caught.

2) He blatantly disregarded the law and a public rebuke is totally insufficient in this circumstance.  Remove him from the bench. NOW.



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