The judge who cleared a man of rape because he didn't enjoy it has been suspended

Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

On Monday, a Mexican judge decided to look kindly on a man accused of sexually assaulting a female classmate in his car on New Year's Day in 2016.

According to Broadly, Diego Cruz, then 19 years old, forced the then-17-year-old girl into his Mercedes Benz with the help of three male friends. While in the car, Cruz allegedly groped her breasts and penetrated her with his fingers before bringing her to his friend's house, where the girl said she was raped.

But even after hearing this harrowing testimony, the judge, Anuar González Hemadi, decided to acquit Cruz, dismissing the alleged assault as "incidental rubbing" without any "carnal intent." If Cruz hadn't enjoyed it, it couldn't have been rape — right?

Wrong. 

Hemadi will have some time to think about just how wrong he was during the suspension that judiciary authorities handed down to him on Wednesday. While judiciary officials investigate Hemadi further, Cruz will remain in prison, according to the Associated Press

The Veracruz state prosecutors' office condemned Hemadi's judgment in no uncertain terms, stating "it violates the rights of a sexual attack victim."

Hemadi's story resonates closely with that of Federal Court Justice Robin Camp, a Canadian judge who submitted his resignation earlier this month after telling an alleged sexual assault victim she should have kept her "knees together." Camp had also gone on to advise, "Sex and pain sometimes go together." 

Those who were outraged over Hemadi's decision may also have been reminded of Judge Aaron Persky, who handed down convicted rapist Brock Turner's lenient sentence. Though Turner, who assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, faced a maximum 14-year prison sentence, Persky sentenced him to just six months, of which Turner served three. After calls for Persky's resignation, the California Commission on Judicial Performance found him not to be in violation of any ethics policies — a reminder that dangerous views on the severity of sexual assault still go unchecked.

Representatives from the Network for Children's Rights in Mexico said that, though there were consequences for Hemadi, his judgment still undid the hard work of those who advocate for sexual assault survivors.

They told the AP, "This ruling represents a serious step backward in the access to justice for girls and adolescent women who are victims of sexual violence, and set a precedent for impunity."

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Marie Solis

Marie is a Slay staff writer with focuses in culture and class. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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