A Coconino County judge who told a woman groped by a state police officer at a Flagstaff bar that she wouldn't have been violated had she not been in the bar has issued an apology.
Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Hatch said Friday that she failed to uphold her responsibility to ensure that defendants and victims are treated fairly and with respect in the courtroom. She said her comments were poorly communicated and apologized for any anguish they caused the victim.
The Arizona Daily Sun reported that Hatch made the comments Wednesday during a sentencing hearing for 43-year-old Robb Gary Evans. He had been convicted of felony sexual abuse.
The victim told the Daily Sun that she felt Hatch accused her of allowing herself to become a victim and demanded an apology.
A petition circulating the internet is asking for the judge to step down after her ruling.
The petition claims the sentence that Evans received did not fit the crime.
An attorney for 43-year-old Robb Gary Evans claimed the victim's judgment was impaired from marijuana use.
The victim told jurors there was no confusion and she remembers the incident clearly.
Prosecutors alleged Evans walked up behind the victim, who he didn't know, and placed his hand up her skirt and touched her genitals.
Evans is an 11-year DPS veteran.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation) contributed to this report. All rights reserved.