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In our last post we wrote about the decision recently reached in the trial of former CBC radio host, Jian Ghomesh. In that post we provided information regarding why the justice reached the decision he did. Since the decision, the verdict has been the focus of many conversations both in the community as well as in the media. Our own Joseph Neuberger has been providing commentary on the trial to multiple media outlets including “Fifth Estate,” CBC Radio’s program “As It Happens,” and the CTV News Channel.
Among other things, on the Fifth Estate he discussed the focus the judge placed on the consent element and the actions taken by the accusers following the alleged incidents. He indicated that at trial the question was not whether the alleged incidents occurred but instead whether there was consent for the incident.
The fact that the women who filed the complaints continued to see, date, have intimate relations, or engage in contact with the accused that seems as though they want to be involved in an intimate relationship, took away from the claim that the activity between the women and the accused was non-consensual.
Because every sexual assault case is different, the best approach to take in building a defence will vary. While the assertion that the activity the alleged victims experienced in this case was consensual, proved to be an effective defence for the accused, another case with a different fact pattern could require another approach altogether. Working with a criminal defence lawyer who has a thorough understanding of these types of cases is generally the best course of action to take.