Jian Ghomeshi trial arguments end, verdict to come...
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Feb 11, 2016  |  Vote 0    0

Jian Ghomeshi trial arguments end, verdict to come March 24

Former CBC Radio host has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and choking charges


Closing arguments finished early this afternoon at the sex assault trial of former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi trial.

Justice William Horkins reserved his decision after hearing the closing statements from the Crown and Ghomeshi’s defence team.

The court will reconvene for his decision on March 24.

This morning, Crown prosecutor Mike Callaghan told the court that all three complainants remained unshaken and steadfast in their accounts of being sexually assaulted by Ghomeshi.

Over 45 minutes, Callaghan told the judge not to rely on myths and stereotypes around the behaviour of sexual assault victims, from delaying reporting to police to contact with abuser after an assault.

He also asked the judge to carefully distinguish between significant issues and peripheral issues.

Callaghan recounted the allegations of each woman, all dating from within a period between late 2002 and 2003, and argued the judge should find their testimony about the alleged sexual assaults reliable and credible.

The defence assertion that Lucy DeCoutere, one of the complainants, fabricated her sexual assault to revel in attention, is rebutted by her friend's police statement that DeCoutere told about the alleged assault shortly after it happened more than a decade prior, Callaghan said.

Callaghan argued that the behaviour of the women after the alleged sexual assaults was “unique” based on their own personalities and life experiences.

On why the third complainant withheld from police until just before her testimony that she had a “romantic encounter” with Ghomeshi on an night after the alleged sexual assault took place, Callahghan said it was understandable that she would be embarrassed to relate that to police.

But in their closing arguments, defence lawyers Marie Henein and Danielle Robitaille said that in the course of the trial, Ghomeshi's three accusers were proved to be unreliable witnesses who withheld information from police and even lied to the court.

The lawyers used especially tough language when summarizing the testimony of one of the complainants — Trailer Park Boys actress Lucy DeCoutere — who's accused Ghomeshi of choking and repeatedly slapping her while they were kissing in his bedroom.

Henein says DeCoutere’s testimony related to one of the charges — overcome resistance by choking — doesn’t meet the elements of the offence, since she testified that she was not resisting when Ghomeshi was allegedly choking her.

Ghomeshi has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. He didn’t testify and has maintained his silence ever since being arrested in November 2014.

– With files from the Canadian Press

Toronto Star

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