Jian Ghomeshi: The Trials Are Over

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Jian Ghomeshi: The Trials Are Over

Postby jon » Mon May 09, 2016 8:50 pm

Ghomeshi won't face second sex assault trial
Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, May 9, 2016 9:45PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 9, 2016 10:25PM EDT

TORONTO -- A sexual assault charge laid against former CBC radio star Jian Ghomeshi is expected to be withdrawn Wednesday, a source has told The Canadian Press.

In exchange, Ghomeshi will first have to sign a peace bond.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the arrangement means Ghomeshi won't have to face a trial that had been scheduled to start on June 6.

Instead, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General was to announce on Tuesday that the case had been brought forward to Wednesday.

The source confirmed a Postmedia report that Ghomeshi is slated to appear at Ontario Court of Justice to sign the peace bond -- a Criminal Code provision most commonly applied in domestic disputes.

Ghomeshi's defence lawyer and the Ministry of the Attorney General did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the matter.

The trial would have been the second faced by the former host of "Q." The first trial ended in March with his acquittal on all charges: sexual assault and choking related to three complainants -- including actress Lucy Decoutere, the only one who agreed to be identified publicly.

The trial and not-guilty verdicts -- Judge William Horkins said he simply did not find the complainants credible -- sparked an emotional and at times angry debate across the country about how the justice system treats sexual assault complainants.

Those complaints related to events that allegedly took place in 2003.

The charge related to the June trial involved a former CBC employee who alleged he had sexually assaulted her in 2008. The woman's identity is protected by a publication ban. Ghomeshi had pleaded not guilty to that charge.

Under Section 810 of the Criminal Code, a person can enter a peace bond or recognizance in which they agree to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. The bond can be for up to a year. It's not clear what specific conditions might be imposed on Ghomeshi, who has been on bail throughout.

If no further incidents occur during that period, the bond expires and the legal proceedings end.

Normally, a justice of the peace hears evidence from both sides before requiring the peace bond be signed.

They are frequently used in domestic disputes or other cases where the authorities feel obliged to respond to a complaint but may not be sure that a criminal offence has occurred or might occur.
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Re: Jian Ghomeshi: The Trials Are Over

Postby jon » Wed May 11, 2016 6:59 am

‘I crossed boundaries’: Ghomeshi apologizes to complainant, signs peace bond
Colin Perkel and Diana Mehta
The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Former CBC radio star Jian Ghomeshi apologized in court today for his “thoughtless and insensitive” behaviour to a former colleague who had accused him of sexually assaulting her.

The apology came after the prosecution read the allegations against him.

After signing a peace bond, the Crown withdrew the charge of sexual assault for which Ghomeshi was slated to stand trial in June.

According to the allegations, Ghomeshi grabbed Kathryn Borel, a former CBC employee, from behind at work in 2008 and ground his pelvis into her.

Ghomeshi, 48, was charged one year ago in relation to the incident.

Borel consented to waiving a court-ordered ban on publicly identifying her.

“I want to apologize to Ms. Borel for my behaviour toward her in the workplace,” Ghomeshi said.

“I now recognize that I crossed boundaries inappropriately. I did not appreciate the damage that I caused. I understand this now.”

Ghomeshi’s lawyer, Marie Henein, said he had been through an “intensely public trial.”

She said he has come through the situation with dignity.

The apology is “everything the Crown and courts” had asked him to do.

Crown lawyer Michael Callaghan read a brief statement of facts on which the prosecution relied for the peace bond.

“By apologizing for his actions, Mr. Ghomeshi accepts responsibility for his actions,” Callaghan said.

Ghomeshi will have to stay away from Borel and not possess weapons under the peace bond, which is not a finding of guilt.

In March, Ghomeshi was acquitted on sexual assault and choking charges related to three other complainants.
Ghomeshi had previously insisted he did nothing wrong and pleaded not guilty.

He had been expected to stand trial next month on a single charge of sexual assault related to the 2008 incident at CBC headquarters.

A peace bond or recognizance, most commonly used in cases of domestic assaults, is a Criminal Code provision that allows authorities to impose conditions on someone and in which they promise to be of good behaviour.
The summary sexual assault charge Ghomeshi faced carries a maximum of 10 years behind bars on conviction.

In November 2014, former CBC employee Roberto Veri said publicly he had witnessed the incident that led to the charge.

“She was leaning over her desk working. He came up behind her and humped her. He drove his pelvis into her buttocks and a big smile on his face,” Veri told the Canadaland website.

“These things happened so quickly. I didn’t know how the person reacted at the time. I didn’t do anything.”

In March, the former host of the CBC radio show “Q” was acquitted of sexual assault and choking charges related to incidents alleged to have occurred in 2002 and 2003.

In finding Ghomeshi not guilty, Judge William Horkins said he simply did not believe that the three complainants, who all had some kind of romantic encounters with the accused, were credible — sparking raucous protests outside the court from women activists decrying how the justice system treats sexual assault complainants.
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Re: Jian Ghomeshi: The Trials Are Over

Postby Howaboutthat » Wed May 11, 2016 8:29 am

Can't help but wonder if anyone outside Toronto cares about this.
Houston, We're dealing with morons!.
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Re: Jian Ghomeshi: The Trials Are Over

Postby pave » Thu May 12, 2016 4:17 am

Other women from across the country who have been or are being similarly exploited and abused would care about this matter - a great deal.
They couldn't help but be aware of the story and the proceedings.
Plus, they would also find the adjudications to represent a travesty and abject failure of the judicial system - rightly or wrongly.
Abusive and predatory males - 1 Exploited women - 0.
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Re: Jian Ghomeshi: The Trials Are Over

Postby jon » Thu May 12, 2016 10:58 am

There is also the issue of whether this opens the door for Ghomeshi to sue the CBC for millions of our tax dollars for wrongful dismissal. It doesn't sound like the "peace bond" would prevent him from doing that.
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Re: Jian Ghomeshi: The Trials Are Over

Postby Tighthead » Thu May 12, 2016 2:51 pm

jon wrote:There is also the issue of whether this opens the door for Ghomeshi to sue the CBC for millions of our tax dollars for wrongful dismissal. It doesn't sound like the "peace bond" would prevent him from doing that.

He already sued and it was settled because he was subject to a CBA.
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Re: Jian Ghomeshi: The Trials Are Over

Postby jon » Thu May 12, 2016 3:24 pm

This article from 7 weeks ago indicates that there are a lot of possibilities left, in terms of who can sue whom.

After the Ghomeshi verdict: Could his accusers be charged? How will it affect future sex assault cases?
Adrian Humphreys
National Post
March 24, 2016
Last Updated: Mar 25 10:55 AM ET

Former star CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted Thursday of all charges in a high-profile sexual assault trial.

He faced five criminal charges from four events, involving three complainants after Ghomeshi was fired by the CBC and complaints of his sexual conduct were publicly raised.

The National Post looks at what impact the verdict might have.

• Can Ghomeshi rebuild his career?

“His reputation has been slaughtered, it’s been mauled. The fact he has been found not guilty is a huge step in the right direction but we are not there yet,” said Eric Schiffer, CEO of Reputation Management Consultants, a California-based firm that represents celebrities, politicians and high net worth individuals.

So much, however, rests on the remaining charge against Ghomeshi still before the courts. If he loses that, it’s game over, Schiffer said.

“He is toxic dead meat,” he said. “But if he has similar success [in court] he can rebuild.” It will take humility, patience and careful planning, and likely a sojourn out of Canada to rebuild where he won’t face such public hostility — an advertisers won’t cringe away from him, he said.

It is a tough road, though. An acquittal “doesn’t get rid of the ugly images that have been seared in the minds of people, especially women.”

Gilles LeVasseur, a business and law professor at the University of Ottawa, agrees a second acquittal throws open the door of rehabilitation.

“If he succeeds, he has a very strong public relations case for coming back. It will allow him to reinstate himself in the broadcasting world.”

• What does this mean for Ghomeshi’s relationship with the CBC?

The proverbial jury is still out on this because Ghomeshi still faces a second sexual assault trial. It is scheduled to be heard in June.

If Ghomeshi is found not guilty a second time, CBC would be the bigger loser in its battle with its former star host, said LeVasseur.

But in either case, the relationship between them seems permanently severed.
“He may have a civil recourse against the CBC. If he is not guilty, then the question could be, should he have been suspended until trial rather than fired?”
It could be an important case at a time when people are being fired for offending the public branding or image of their employer.

“What would be the liability of the employer when dealing with the personal life of the employee? How far can an employer go in firing an employee who does not act in a way that the employer wants to be seen?” LeVasseur said.

For Ghomeshi, though, this would require another public fight over what he did or did not do and keep the controversy alive and in the headlines.

A second acquittal or a future guilty verdict would likely impact any severance or settlement between CBC and Ghomeshi. CBC will be motivated to not hash this out in public as well, LeVasseur said. A trial could highlight failures of CBC management to deal with warning signs of Ghomeshi’s behaviour.

• Could the Crown pursue charges against any of the complainants?

This is improbable. Not only would it enflame public animosity and counter the public interest in terms of encouraging victims to come forward, it would stand little chance of success.

The judge was critical of “deceptive and manipulative” evidence of the complainants.

“The judge did not say the events didn’t occur,” said Joseph Neuberger, a Toronto criminal lawyer. “The judge was critical of their reliability and credibility — but that is not sufficient to charge the complainants with public mischief or perjury,” he said.

It could be argued complainants breached an order of the court not to discuss testimony it would be unlikely the Crown would pursue charges, said LeVasseur. “The complainants have already suffered a lot; people made mistakes but it was not done for the purpose of misleading the court.”

• Could his accusers sue him for damages?

The women who made complaints about sexual assault and violence by Ghomeshi could still pursue him civilly for damages.

“Just because of the criminal case ended in acquittal does not mean they can’t pursue a civil remedy where the burden of proof is not as high,” said Neuberger.

Civil trials weigh evidence “on a balance of probability” rather than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden at a criminal trial.

“They are free to do that, but they’d have to be prepared to face the public scrutiny,” all over again.

• Could Ghomeshi sue for defamation?

He could try, however, this would require Ghomeshi to go on the offensive against female complainants and keep the accusations and headlines on this scandal rather than letting it settle as he seeks a way to emerge from it.

It would also allow his complainants another chance to make their case for the truthfulness of their claims in a civil court where, again, the burden of proof is lower, said Neuberger.

The best strategy for Ghomeshi after the trials are finished, said Schiffer, is to show humility and contriteness and then to “go dark and fade away” for perhaps a year. Suing the women who have wide support goes counter to that in a significant way. It would be a public relations nightmare.

• What impact might this have on court handling of sex assaults in the future?

Protesters rallied against the way the justice system treats victims of sexual assault and the treatments the three women. Social media erupted in outrage at the verdict.

“There is no doubt that because of this case we will see more women turning their backs on the criminal justice system,” said Pamela Cross, legal director of Luke’s Place, a support centre for women in Oshawa.

She said court needs to be less onerous and foreboding for survivors of sexual assault.

One of the complainants, whose identity is protected by court order, encouraged others not to let her experience discourage them.

“While my story may not have passed the high legal test for proof it remains my position that the evidence on the substantive issues is truthful,” the complainant said through her lawyer, Jacob Jesin.

“I encourage anyone who is a victim of abuse to come forward, seek assistance and not be afraid of what may happen. While the process is undoubtedly difficult it is nevertheless worthwhile and empowering. A weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and I can now move on.”

Changing the process of sex assault trials wouldn’t make a difference in this case, said John Rosen, a Toronto criminal lawyer.

“The problem in the Ghomeshi matter was the failure of the complainants to be completely honest with every aspect of their relationship with the accused,” Rosen said.

“The complainant must be completely honest and open about everything — the good, the bad and the ugly.”

LeVasseur said an important lesson is timely reporting of a perceived criminal act.

“This should teach people that if something is wrong, we report it right away so we can secure evidence and not contaminate testimony.”

• Will the Crown appeal the acquittals?

Crown attorney Michael Callaghan said he would consider the lengthy decision over the long weekend before making a decision on whether to pursue or discuss an appeal.
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