'Stunned Silence' After Judge in Israel Says Some Girls 'Enjoy Being Raped;' Later Resigns

A judge in Israel has resigned and apologized for comments he made suggesting that some girls enjoy being raped, which sparked public outrage.

"A man who says such things is unfit to serve as the head of the Likud's court," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Associated Press reported that Nissim Yeshaya, a Tel Aviv District Court judge, made the controversial comments while presiding over a hearing of the rape of a 13-year-old Israeli girl by four Palestinian youths. The girl was apparently raped six years ago near the West Bank's Hizma roadblock, close to Jerusalem, and the Defense Ministry had been deliberating whether to recognize the case as terror activity.

Following criticism by the public and by Netanyahu, who withdrew his support for Yeshaya's appointment as head of his Likud Party's internal court, the judge said that his comments were taken out of context and offered his resignation.

"In the heat of the discussion, he (Yeshaya) suddenly said out loud 'some girls like to be raped,'" attorney Roni Sdovnik told Army Radio, as translated by Haaretz.com. The lawyer said that Yeshaya's comments were met with "stunned silence."

"He didn't even understand what he was saying, he didn't understand why everyone were silent."

The judge has tried to defend himself by saying that his words were "twisted and was taken out of context."

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni described Yeshaya's decision to resign as the "right and fitting thing to do" in such a serious case.

"Only this way, will the public's faith in the justice system be restored. This wasn't just some expression, but an invalid and twisted perception that women have fought for years, that lays the blame on the rape victim. Such a statement from the mouth of judge may, even if unintentionally, give legitimacy rape to warped minds," Livni said, according to Haaretz.

The justice minister insisted that each judge "should know that he is viewed, rightly, under a public moral magnifying glass and that he must behave in a manner fitting someone who is responsible for the law and justice and determines the fates of others."