Man lives with wrongful rape allegation for 40 years

Man lives with wrongful rape allegation for 40 years

On behalf of Neuberger & Partners LLP posted in Sexual Assault on Monday March 31, 2014.

While there are very few things that are as traumatic as rape, there are also very few criminal charges that carry such weight as rape. Even though it is always important to be sensitive to anyone in Markham who claims to have been raped, it is always important that an accuser’s story is checked out so that someone is not wrongfully convicted of the crime. In the Crown’s effort to hold people accountable for rape, it is essential that someone’s liberty is not sacrificed.

Sadly, it has taken more than 40 years for a now-Alberta man to escape from a wrongful sexual assault allegation. In 1970, the then-19-year-old man was living in Nova Scotia when he was accused of rape by a 14-year-old. What could have been resolved by a quick paternity test today has taken a considerable amount of time to sort itself out. It was only in 2008 that the now-woman has said that it was her brother who sexually assaulted her, not the man who was accused of raping her.

Although it is tragic that this woman had to live with long-standing sexual abuse from her brother, including what can only be assumed was an unplanned pregnancy, it does not make up for the wrongful accusation. While it seems that her father was the one that pressured her to lie, it was up to the police and the Crown to actually investigate the allegation, not to take it at face value. Had they done their job, perhaps this man would not have had to live with a sexual assault allegation hanging over his head.

Source: CBC News, “Gerry Gaston Barton, wrongly convicted of rape, set to sue,” March 28, 2014


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On behalf of Neuberger & Partners LLP posted in COVID-19 on Tuesday March 17, 2020.

At Neuberger and Partners, we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and have implemented safety measures to ensure the safety of our clients and staff. Our priority is and always will be the health, well-being and safety of our staff, clients and colleagues.

We have put in place various measures to prevent and minimize the impact of COVID-19:

  • In addition to standard hand-washing habits, our staff are washing hands before and after every client interaction;
  • All individuals entering our office will be required to use our hand sanitizer to ensure the safety of our other clients and staff;
  • Regular disinfecting of our offices, public areas, meeting rooms and board rooms as well as increasing the frequency of disinfection of higher-traffic surface areas;
  • If a lawyer or client who has a scheduled meeting is feeling unwell, they will be strongly encouraged to stay home;
  • For the time being, we will avoid greeting clients and colleagues with our usual handshakes;
  • We will make every effort to ensure our firm will be stocked up with extra tissue and alcohol-based hand sanitizer; and
  • We will monitor and stay informed from the Government of Canada and World Health Organization for facts as they become available. We will ensure all staff and team members are educated on symptoms and are well informed on prevention and best practices.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will the firm still run if there are closures?

  • We are committed to assisting our clients. We remain open to assist our clients at this time (following aforementioned standards for health and safety). For clients who wish to communicate with our firm virtually, we have the technology for virtual meetings and are able to respond to the needs of our clients in a manner best to protect our staff and clients’ health.

Are staff and lawyers set up to work virtually?

  • All lawyers and staff are set up to work virtually and continue to assist clients and one another remotely. All lawyers are available via telephone, email and virtual video conferencing.

What is the court situation? How will we deal with court closures?

  • At this time, the Superior Court of Justice is closed from March 17, 2020 to June 1, 2020 – unless a judge orders otherwise.
    If you have a March matter, your matter will be postponed to June 2, 2020.
    April matters will be postponed to June 3, 2020 and May matters will be pushed to June 4, 2020.
  • Similarly, the Ontario Court of Justice will be closed for 10 weeks for all out of custody matters in criminal practice court. In custody matters will still be addressed. It is unclear if out of custody matters such as trials or preliminary hearings will continue since the courts have left this decision to the discretion of the judges. However, Bail courts will remain open for the time being.
  • The Court of Appeal for Ontario has suspended all scheduled appeals until April 3, 2020. But we are still able to file materials and apply for urgent appeals to be heard.
  • We will advise clients by email of their next Court date.

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  • Payments can be made via e-transfer and visa payments can be made over the phone.

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  • For clients who wish to drop off documents but do not wish to come in contact with any one at the firm, you are encouraged to drop them off in our mail slot in front of our office.

We will be open and available for any questions, comments or concerns. Please call (416) 364-3111 for any further information.

Stay safe and healthy,

Joseph Neuberger