Thursday, February 11, 2016

Toronto Radio: Ghomeshi Trial Nearing End

Jian Ghomeshi
The Crown (the prosecution) in the sexual assault trial of Jian Ghomeshi will begin its final submissions today, as the defence team for the former CBC host chose not to present any evidence or call any witnesses, including their client, to testify in the case.

Instead, during the course of the trial, Ghomeshi's legal team, headed by Marie Henein, spent the days in court aggressively challenging the credibility of the Crown's witnesses — the three female complainants.

CBC is reporting The Crown rested its case on Wednesday after submitting a transcript of a statement from Sarah Dunsworth, an actress and friend of Lucy DeCoutere, one of the three complainants.

DeCoutere had testified that the former Q host had choked and slapped her at his home.

According to the transcript, Dunsworth said DeCoutere called her about a week after the alleged assault. She said DeCoutere told her that she and Ghomeshi had gone out on a date and that he had "ended up putting his hands on her neck and choking her." Dunsworth did not mention anything about the alleged slapping.

DeCoutere and Dunsworth
Dunsworth said DeCoutere asked her if she thought that was normal, to which Dunsworth replied, "It's really not normal." She said DeCoutere told her she and Ghomeshi had not previously discussed that kind of "sex play."

Ghomeshi, 48, who lives in Toronto, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking, all related to alleged assaults from 2002 to 2003. The identities of  two of the complainants are protected under a publication ban, but DeCoutere, an actress and an air force captain, went to court to lift the ban on her name.

The first woman to testify told court that Ghomeshi had pulled her hair and punched her in the head at his home after a dinner date. DeCoutere said the former Q host had choked and slapped her at his home. The third woman said Ghomeshi had squeezed her neck and covered her mouth while they were kissing on a park bench.

But it was later revealed in court that each woman had had contact with Ghomeshi following the alleged assaults and that details of this contact had not been provided to police or the Crown in their initial statements.

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