Judge Told Teen She Might Have Been 'Flattered' By Sexual Assault

by Jerriann Sullivan
Image via Getty Images.

‘Maybe she’s a little overweight but she has a pretty face, no?’

A judge is in hot water after making sexist comments about a teenage survivor during her sexual assault trial. Jean-Paul Braun is a judge in the Canadian province of Quebec, but hopefully, his horrendous comments will land him in the unemployment line.

The case involved sexual assault allegations against Carlo Figaro, a taxi driver who was accused of forcing himself onto a 17-year-old girl. He has since been found guilty. “She’s a young girl, 17. Maybe she’s a little overweight but she has a pretty face, no?” the judge said, according to The Guardian and the Journal de Montréal.

Figaro – who is 49-years-old – is accused of licking the teen’s face, attempting to kiss her, and groping her before she escaped his cab. In addition to commenting on the girl’s weight, the judge made horrific comments suggesting the victim asked to be attacked. He suggested that the teen might have welcomed the attention from the creepy cab driver because he “looks good and doesn’t seem his age.” Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Here’s a tip about sexual assault, judge, if the victim consented then there wouldn’t be a case for you rule on in the first place. People who don’t understand the basics of consent probably shouldn’t be involved in the judicial system.

The comments only got worse. “She was a bit flattered,” the judge said. “Maybe it was the first time he showed interest in her.” Nope. Again, not how that works. Judges are supposed to review the evidence – not decide how a child felt during a sexual assault. He then went on to justify forcefully kissing someone against their will. “A man is interested in her, he tries to kiss her,” Braun shared. “Surely the same consent isn’t required to try to kiss someone as for – as we say – putting one’s hand in the basket,” which is a French expression for grabbing a person’s rear end. How about men don’t kiss children. That seems like a great place to start in regards to consent. Also, people use taxis to get from one location to another – not so strangers will sexually assault them.

Even though the judge eventually found Figaro guilty, he still managed to add in some extra commentary that was unnecessary and wrong on so many levels. Braun said he found it hard to believe that Figaro hadn’t noticed the teen because “taking into consideration the [victim’s] figure, which is quite voluptuous; the court specifies that she is a pretty young girl.” Thankfully, Quebec’s justice minister Stephanie Vallée filed a complaint with the judicial council.

Hopefully, Braun will be punished ASAP. Especially considering this isn’t the first time he’s harassed a sexual assault victim. According to the Journal de Montréal, the judge previously told a 19-year-old that being groped by a phone technician wasn’t the “crime of the century.”