Nova Scotia's highest court sets date for appeal of cabbie sex assault acquittal
Bassam Al-Rawi's acquittal for sexually assaulting a taxi passenger drew national headlines
Nova Scotia's highest court has set a date this fall to hear the case of a Halifax taxi driver acquitted of sexual assault.
The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has set Nov. 22 to hear the Crown's appeal in the case of Bassam Al-Rawi. His acquittal in March on charges he sexually assaulted an intoxicated female passenger drew national headlines.
Provincial court Judge Gregory Lenehan was widely criticized for his decision to acquit Al-Rawi. In his decision to acquit Al-Rawi at trial, Lenehan found the Crown had not offered any evidence the woman, who was found unconscious in the car by a police officer, had not consented.
Lenehan's comment during his ruling that "clearly, a drunk can consent," sparked protests and a formal complaint about Lenehan's conduct.
And because of the intense interest, the Court of Appeal has granted intervenor status to the Halifax-based Avalon Sexual Assault Centre and LEAF, the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund.