Round One to Ghomeshi; Round Two in June

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Round One to Ghomeshi; Round Two in June

Postby jon » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:09 am

Jian Ghomeshi found not guilty on choking and all sex assault charges
Impossible to have 'sufficient faith' in the reliability or sincerity of complainants, judge says
By Mark Gollom, CBC News
Posted: Mar 24, 2016 11:57 AM ET
Last Updated: Mar 24, 2016 2:42 PM ET

Jian Ghomeshi has been acquitted on four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking by an Ontario Court judge who says the "deceptive and manipulative" evidence of the complainants raised a reasonable doubt in the guilt of the former CBC Radio host.

In a searing rebuke of the complainants, Judge William Horkins said the evidence from all three not only suffered from inconsistencies, but was "tainted by outright deception."

"The harsh reality is that once a witness has been shown to be deceptive and manipulative in giving their evidence, that witness can no longer expect the court to consider them to be a trusted source of the truth," Horkins said.

'Serious deficiencies'

"I am forced to conclude that it is impossible for the court to have sufficient faith in the reliability or sincerity of these complainants. Put simply, the volume of serious deficiencies in the evidence leaves the court with a reasonable doubt."

After Horkins delivered his ruling, Ghomeshi, 48, hugged his mother, sister and other supporters who sat behind him in the courtroom. He said nothing as he exited the courthouse, but his sister Jila made a statement.

"Our hardest burden has been our feeling of helplessness as we have watched him endure a punishment that was delivered not only prior to a verdict, but prior to any semblance of due process for well over a year," she said.

"It has been extremely painful for those of us who love him," she said, adding that he brother "remained the person that we know and love."

Outside the courthouse, as Crown attorney Michael Callaghan was set to respond to the ruling, a topless protestor rushed the podium. She was handcuffed and placed in police cruiser.

Horkins added that while the evidence in the case raises a reasonable doubt, it "is not the same as deciding in any positive way that these events never happened."

The trial, which began in Toronto on Feb. 1, 2016, lasted eight days. Ghomeshi had pleaded not guilty to all the charges, all related to assaults alleged to have taken place from 2002 to 2003.

The identities of two of the complainants in the case are protected under a publication ban, but actress Lucy DeCoutere, also an air force captain, went to court to lift the ban on her name.

The first woman to testify told court that Ghomeshi had pulled her hair and punched her in the head at his home after a dinner date. DeCoutere said the former Q host had choked and slapped her at his home. The third woman said Ghomeshi had squeezed her neck and covered her mouth while they were kissing on a park bench.

But it was later revealed in court that each woman had had contact with Ghomeshi following the alleged assaults and that details of this contact had not been provided to police or the Crown in their initial statements.

'Completely inconsistent'

The first witness had told police and the court she had no subsequent contact with Ghomeshi after two alleged attacks but later acknowledged she sent him two emails and a picture of herself in a bikini more than a year later. The woman said she sent the emails to bait Ghomeshi into calling her to explain his actions.

"I suppose this explanation could be true, except that this spontaneous explanation of a plan to bait Mr. Ghomeshi is completely inconsistent with her earlier stance that she wanted nothing to do with him, and that she was traumatized by the mere thought of him," Horkins said.

DeCoutere had told the court that she had no romantic interest in Ghomeshi after her alleged assault and only saw him at industry functions. But it was later revealed in court that hours after the alleged sexual assault, she had sent him an email saying she wanted to have sex with him and sent him a handwritten letter days later saying she was sad they didn't spend the night together.

"I find as a fact that Ms. DeCoutere attempted to mislead the court about her continued relationship with Mr. Ghomeshi," Horkins said. "It was only during cross-examination that her expressed interest in a continuing close relationship was revealed."

The third woman, who told police she would only feel safe being out with Ghomeshi in public after her alleged assault, failed to disclose that days later, she had a consensual sexual encounter with him.

'Playing chicken with justice system'

Horkins said her disclosure of this fact just before she was set to testify showed that she was clearly "playing chicken" with the justice system. He said she "was prepared to tell half the truth for as long as she thought she might get away with it," had been following the proceedings more closely than admitted, "and she knew that she was about to run head first into the whole truth."

In his final argument, Crown attorney Michael Callaghan argued that the complainants had provided explanations for some of the inconsistencies, delayed disclosures or omissions in their evidence. He stressed that not withstanding vigorous cross-examination, all three "were unshaken" in their allegations that they were sexually assaulted by Ghomeshi.

But Ghomeshi's lawyer seized on those omissions, saying their testimony was "so riddled with inconsistencies and improbabilities and proven lies under oath that it cannot be said to prove anything."

Horkins concurred.

"Each complainant was confronted with a volume of evidence that was contrary to their prior sworn statements and their evidence," he said. "Each complainant demonstrated, to some degree, a willingness to ignore their oath to tell the truth on more than one occasion. It is this aspect of their evidence that is most troubling to the court."

Ghomeshi still faces another charge of sexual assault, with a trial scheduled for June.
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Re: Round One to Ghomeshi; Round Two in June

Postby Mike Cleaver » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:07 pm

I'm extremely disappointed in the JG verdict.
Having worked in the Toronto market over three decades in radio, all of us in the industry knew about his reputation, including his bosses who did nothing about it despite numerous complaints from female staff.
Sexual harassment and abuse is endemic in the entertainment business, whether it be stage, movies, TV, radio, etc. where one person exercises control and hiring and firing capacity over staff members, both male and female.
I spent 55 years in Canadian Radio and TV, mostly in the major markets, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver and many of those years in supervisory positions. Ask any of the women with whom I worked how I treated them, no differently from the males.
Those female employees who were having problems with men were far more open with me, an out gay male, than they were with straight male supervisors, who naturally would take the male-dominant position.
When there were very few females in the industry in the 60s and 70s, it was even worse with the chances of being hired and given continuing employment often hinged on what extras they could provide their male employers.
There are many managers who have gotten away with seducing staff both male and female and then discarding them when they became bored with them.
It had nothing to do with their job performance.
Others were hired for nothing more than their sexual desirability by those managers and then were disposed of when someone new came along.
That was and continues to be the reality of the business, especially now when real jobs are few and far between.
For every complaint that officially gets filed, ten do not and the abuser gets to continue his "hobby."
My advise to all emloyees is to record everything, both audio and video.
It's simple to do these days and inexpensive.
When something inappropriate happens, save the file and all the details of time, date, place, circumstances.
Recordings have helped me twice in my career with penalties paid both in cash and demotions/firings of those involved.
With hard evidence, you can speak up in confidence and a travesty such as has just occurred can be avoided.
You are important.
So is your self respect and reputation.
Call out these assholes and lay charges against them, backed up by good solid incontrovertible evidence.
This shit has to stop and you are the only one who can do it.
Mike Cleaver Broadcast Services
Engineering, News, Voice work and Consulting
Vancouver, BC, Canada

54 years experience at some of Canada's Premier Broadcasting Stations
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Re: Round One to Ghomeshi; Round Two in June

Postby tuned » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:15 pm

The judge in the Ghomeshi case ruled that the women were all liars. They even conspired to obstruct justice and should be charged for doing so although that's unlikely to happen. Your male bashing diatribe is filled with half truths and exaggeration. I worked at one major market station where a female salesperson was having an affair with the sales manager. Guess who got the best account list? The verdict in the Ghomeshi case was just and quite frankly no charges should ever have been filed. The prosecutors were under pressure from all the bleating sheep like Cleaver and his loud mouth feminist pals. The Ghomeshi case is a setback for women that have legitimate cases.
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Re: Round One to Ghomeshi; Round Two in June

Postby pave » Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:56 am

Seems to most everyone interested in the case that the complainants were just slightly less on trial than Ghomeshi. Half truths and withheld information benefited not one of their cases.

Meanwhile and as Mike notes: There were years when T.O. media-folk were well aware of the behaviours of Ghomeshi - as were the management of The Ministry of Truth.

I could also regale the group with tales of too many instances of exploitation in the biz - subtle and gross.

This fiasco represents an intolerable breakdown of the government and justice systems with enough blame to spread around equally.

Advantage: Ghomeshi.
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Re: Round One to Ghomeshi; Round Two in June

Postby tuned » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:54 am

It is not a breakdown of government and the justice system. It worked the way it's supposed to. The only breakdown was by CBC management who failed to do their jobs in a timely fashion. Trivializing lying under oath and obstruction of justice benefits no one. Advantage Ghomeshi? Exactly how?
His career is destroyed and he's left with legal bills in the hundreds of thousands for charges that a court acquitted him of. The case is as big a smear job as what happened to John Furlong. Lots of lurid accusations by witnesses who were strangers to the truth.

I started in radio in the seventies as a teenager and was hit on by gay men on numerous occasions at more than one radio station. They weren't supervisors and there wasn't any pressure so at worst it was slightly uncomfortable. I saw many instances of women willingly sleeping with bosses to further their careers. I never saw any overt sexual harassment where someone was having an intimate relationship against their will. I'm not saying it didn't happen but in my 40 plus years in broadcasting I wouldn't say it was rampant.
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