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Saturday 30 September 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Clare Marsh/John Birdsall/Press Association Images via PA Images A woman who was raped in Manitoba was described as having "sexually inviting" behaviour.
# Canada
Judge criticised for calling rape victim's behaviour "inviting"
Local Professors blast judge for comments made in court.

A CANADIAN JUDGE has been heavily criticised for saying saying a rape victim sent signals that “sex was in the air” through her clothing and conduct the night she was attacked.

Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Dewar in Manitoba gave the man convicted of her rape, Kenneth Rhodes, a two-year conditional sentence, reports the Winnipeg Free Press.

The judge called Rhodes a “clumsy Don Juan”  and said he may have misunderstood what the victim wanted when he forced her to have sex with him in 2006.

The night the rape occurred, Rhodes and a friend met the 26-year-old victim and her female friend outside a bar. The judge said they met under “inviting circumstances”  as the women were wearing tube tops with no bra, high heels and makeup.

University of Winnipeg professor Shannon Sampert said: “It’s really reprehensible in this day and age that we’re still talking about whether someone wore a tube top with no bra as if that means that you deserve to be raped”.

“What is the signal we’re sending here? We’re saying, don’t bother coming to us unless you’re a virgin, wearing white, and have never consumed any alcohol and have never had a life outside of a convent.”

Rhodes pleaded not guilty at the trial on the basis he thought the woman had consented.

Judge Dewar described it as “a case of misunderstood signals and inconsiderate behaviour.”

In a victim impact statement, the woman described her ongoing fear related to the attack.

Read the Winnipeg Free Press court report here.>

Read the backlash to judge’s comments here.>