Charges Withdrawn: Sexual Assault, Breaking and Entering, Breach of Peace Bond
A man can be charged, jailed, and prosecuted based solely on the words of his accuser. In the absence of any corroborating evidence, the police will still often lay a charge where a domestic partner accuses the other of committing some crime against them. Even a story which does not entirely make sense can result in charges being laid. The fact that a judge and jury will sort out the facts later is of little comfort to the accused person, who is presumed innocent but may be nonetheless sitting in jail while waiting for that trial. Indeed, the spiteful accuser holds the power to turn the accused’s life upside down for months, if not years, if he or she tells police a story of sufficiently depraved or egregious criminal acts.
An immediate and thorough investigation by the defence lawyer can sometimes uncover the evidence necessary to expose the accuser as a liar and get the charges dropped well before trial. In this case the client was accused of breaking into his wife’s apartment one morning, sexually assaulting her, having a drink in her apartment, and then leaving. Days after these events supposedly occurred, the accuser called the police and the client was arrested shortly afterward (he turned himself in when he heard that he was being charged). He spent days in jail before being released on a bail which defence lawyer Tyler MacDonald obtained for him after the Crown tried to have the client detained pending trial.
Even before the client was released from jail, Mr. MacDonald was gathering the evidence necessary exonerate his client. Coincidentally, days before the accuser made the allegations against him, the client had taken back from her the passport and SIN card that she had been withholding from him in an effort to control the client. Mr MacDonald obtained the text messages which proved that the client and his accuser were still in an ongoing, intimate relationship at the time of the alleged crimes – not separated, as she had claimed in her statement to the police. Mr. MacDonald also obtained a court order for all of the surveillance video from the accuser’s apartment building to be turned over directly to the defence. This video showed the client and his accuser arriving together at the building on the date of the alleged crimes, and leaving together later that day. A text message also confirmed that the accuser had actually gone to pick up the client that morning to bring him to her apartment. Clearly, there was no break-in. What the client’s wife had told investigators was a lie. The police had obtained none of this information. They took a statement from the woman, arrested the client, and went no further than that.
After all this information was brought to the attention of the prosecution, the falsity of the accuser’s allegations was undeniable. The charges were properly withdrawn by the Crown at the next court appearance. It remains to be seen whether the accuser will be charged for her attempt to use the criminal justice system for her own ends. In the meantime the client is free from these charges, and is hopefully safe from any further accusations by this person.