Jian Ghomeshi, NOT GUILTY?
FIRST, the facts:
Today, the former CBC host walks away from four counts of sexual assault, and one count of overcoming resistance by choking because, according to the Judge, the three complainants were simply not credible enough with shifting memories and evidence. NOT GUILTY on all charges.
There is another trial to follow in June on a separate charge of sexual assault based on allegations from a former CBC employee who claims he touched her bum and said well…some things I can’t say on the air.
Judge William Horkins says the three complainants in the case were simply not credible given their shifting memories and evidence.
Horkins said he had to base his ruling on the women’s credibility, which he said cross-examination showed to be flawed.
The women testified they were being romantic with Ghomeshi when he briefly turned violent in separate incidents in 2002 and 2003.
Ghomeshi’s defense argued the witnesses made omissions during testimony about their interactions with him and so were not credible.
Ghomeshi faces another trial in June on a separate charge of sexual assault stemming from allegations that he touched the buttocks of a former CBC employee and said to her: “I want to hate-fuck you.”
From London Free Press:
The treatment Jian Ghomeshi’s accusers — during the trial and on Thursday, when Toronto Judge William Horkins ripped into their credibility before finding the former CBC host not guilty — is proof the justice system is “flawed,” a London sexual assault agency said.
“We believe the current justice system is flawed in its attempt at due legal process, where the Victim’s Bill of Rights is not taken seriously and survivors are not treated with courtesy, compassion and respect for their personal dignity and privacy,” said Sexual Assault Centre London director Jane McGregor, in a statement about the case.
The centre calls for a “trauma-informed approach,” that would help the public understand why “discrediting” victims is a normal reaction.
In the statement, McGregor said 80 to 90 per cent of sexual assaults occur in relationships.
“They occur by someone we have feelings for. Therefore exhibiting a lack of resistance during the assault, dismissive reactions to the event afterwards, and a desire to maintain contact and continue a relationship with the perpetrator — these are common and understandable responses to a trauma.”
During the trial Crown argued that the women were “unshaken” in their allegations against the 48-year-old, but his defence team countered that all three complainants were unreliable witnesses who lied under oath.
“This is the pattern we see across sexual assault trials,” McGregor. “They must defend every action they took preceding to and following the assault.
Photo of demonstration outside the courthouse in Toronto, from AM640:
NOW, OPINION…just me talking here. If you’ve been listening to my show for awhile, you’ll remember how many times my opinion has changed on this case as witnesses came forward and evidence changed. My initial thought was, ‘well, what this guy does behind closed doors with consent is none of our business.’ That opinion comes from being in the ‘public eye’ and realizing just how blurry the line is between private and public life. As women came forward, I quickly realized the term ‘consent’ is loose with this guy, to begin with.
There is no doubt that the evidence was all over the place in this case and with that it’s difficult for a Judge to rule anything else…people have faith in the system we currently have in place. But, in my mind, there is no doubt that there was SEXUAL ASSAULT in these cases, whether it began with a right hand or a left hand or an email before or after.
Ghomeshi’s defense lawyer had an incredibly difficult job and I can’t imagine it’s been easy even though she won. As a woman, she probably doesn’t even agree with some of evidence her client brought to her. This is why the case was strong in proving that evidence alone was not enough to hold Jian accountable for these alleged actions.
I feel very badly for any woman who’s had a violent experience with him, knowing that they are being made a MOCKERY of and that part is not fair. Traumatic situations cloud the brain and in this case it was used against them. Their stories are valuable in what we learned about Jian Ghomeshi and he is NOT innocent in my opinion, although our legal system has him walking away with nothing but a bruised ego and a now-failed CBC career.