Posts Tagged ‘Judge Derek G. Johnson’


Congressman Todd Akin

What a guy. I would’ve thought the Jesuits at Santa Clara U. would’ve schooled him better or at least the legal beagles at his alma mater, USD Law School, where the university has that mission and vision thing going about the “dignity” of the whole person.

Judge Derek Guy Johnson who presides in Harbor Court in tony Newport Beach, California has the same regrettable foot-in-mouth predilections as outgoing Missouri Congressman Todd Akin.

Who knew? And I’m not the only one noticing the simpatico similarities, as the Los Angeles Times also picked up that the “Orange County judge’s rape remarks mirror Todd Akin’s.”

As most of us know, Akin torpedoed his electoral chances by provoking ire with his ‘Legitimate Rape’ comment, to wit, that “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Aping Akin.

But what did Judge Johnson do that was so Akin-like? Well, he opined on the supposed shut down of the female body during rape — just like Congressman Akin.

And he did so in open court saying, “I’m not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something. If someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down 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.”

Judge Johnson’s remarks were part of the statement of facts in the Public Admonishment Order issued by California’s  Commission on Judicial Performance.

It’s too bad things move so slowly in California. Even though the judge’s injudicious statements were made 4 years ago and were reported then by the O.C. Weekly, it wasn’t until this month when the disciples of discipline finally did anything about it. I guess nobody ever noticed or complained until recently? Not that a judge trivializing rape in his courtroom isn’t something someone might otherwise notice.

Maybe, if Judge Johnson had instead emulated Canadian judge Robert Dewar instead of Todd Akin, more notice might have been taken? Justice Dewar was the Canadian judge who spared a convicted rapist from prison because his victim dressed so provocatively that she sent out signals that “sex was in the air.”


A national outcry ensued but no never mind — no disciplinary action resulted against Justice Dewar since it was “an isolated event in the judge’s career.”

High protein ‘Festivus’ is alright by me.

As for Judge Johnson, it’s not like he hasn’t made news before. Two Christmases ago in a more sympathetic and holiday-giving mood, he beneficently signed off on high-protein double portion kosher meals for county jail inmate Malcolm Alarmo King. Why?

According to King’s lawyer, Fred Thiagarajah, it was because the menu at the Theo Lacy jail in Orange wasn’t health-oriented enough for King.

photoAnd although King isn’t Jewish, he nevertheless wanted the more expensive to prepare kosher meals.

As reported by the Orange County Register at “Festivus for the Rest of Us- O.C. Jail style,”

“Judge Derek G. Johnson signed off on the high-protein double portion kosher meals for King.

“That didn’t sit well with the Sheriff’s Department – which pays for the food. Kosher meals are more expensive than the regular jail fare–and reserved for those with a religious need.

“The Sheriff’s Department interviewed King in May about his religious leanings. When asked what his religion was he answered “Healthism.”

“He’s healthy so he said health and added an ‘ism,’” said  Thiagarajah, who acknowledged to the county and a judge and to The Watchdog that it was a farce.

“When sentencing day came, King pleaded guilty to the sale or transport of a controlled substance – a felony. Two other felonies were thrown out.

“But King still wanted his non-salami meals.

“Judge Johnson pulled King’s lawyer and the prosecutor aside and said he needed a religion to put down on the order to make it stick, explained Thiagarajah.

“I said Festivus,” said Thiagarajah. The order was granted – three non-salami meals a day.”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.

Fortunately for Arizona, there’s comfort knowing it hasn’t cornered the market on belittling sexual assault victims. After all, we had our own judge earlier this year blaming a sexual assault victim for her attack.

Coconino County Judge Jacqueline Hatch lectured the victim, “If you hadn’t been there none of this would have happened. When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” She did, however, later apologize to the groping victim.

As for the rest of us . . .



Photo Credits: “Todd Akin,” by DonkeyHotey at Flickr via Creative Commons-licensed content requiring attribution;”Tarquinius and Lucretia,” by Titian, Source: The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbHat Wikipedia Commons, public domain; “Happy Festivus,” by Efrain Lugo, tkop_efrain, at Flickr via Creative Commons-licensed content requiring attribution; “Happy Festivus,” by Bjorn Bulthuis , iBjorn, at Flickr via Creative Commons-licensed content requiring attribution and share alike distribution.


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