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This past March we wrote about the acquittal of former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi from several sexual assault charges. At that time, though the man was found not guilty of four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking, his legal issues were not resolved. He faced another count of sexual assault, the trial for which was supposed to take place this summer. That charge was recently resolved as well. It was withdrawn by the court.
This particular case involved a woman for formerly worked with the accused. She pressed charges in 2014, asserting Ghomeshi harassed her repeatedly in her workplace. She said he did things such as simulate sexual intercourse with her while she was standing at her desk. The charge was withdrawn when she decided to forego the trial. In exchange she received an apology.
Among other things, in that apology Ghomeshi said that his actions were sexually inappropriate for the workplace. It was included in a legal document he signed called a “peace bond.” While not an admission of wrongdoing, as a part of the peace bond Ghomeshi cannot possess any weapons or contact his accuser. In explaining her decision to forego the trial, the woman said that she stood by her allegations and that accepting an apology was “the clearest path to the truth.”
Though not available in every situation, there are times when a criminal charge can be addressed through a peace bond. Compared to what the outcome could have been, if he had gone to trial and been convicted, in some situations, agreeing to sign the peace bond is a much more desirable outcome.