Jian Ghomeshi to avoid 2nd sex assault trial by signing peace bond, source says
Crown expected to drop criminal charge if former broadcaster agrees to conditions
Former CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi's second sexual assault trial will not go ahead in June and will instead be dealt with by a peace bond this week, according to a source close to the case.
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The 48-year-old's second sexual assault trial was slated to go ahead on June 6, more than two months after he was acquitted of four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking related to three other complainants by Judge William Horkins of the Ontario Court of Justice.
Crown Attorney Michael Callaghan is expected on Wednesday to withdraw the remaining count of sexual assault that Ghomeshi still faces, according to the source. Before that happens, Ghomeshi will have to sign a peace bond that may include a provision to stay away from the complainant, also a former CBC employee, for at least a year.
The incident is alleged to have happened in 2008.
Normally, a peace bond would have to be filed within six months of the alleged incident, but Ghomeshi must be planning to waive that time period, former Crown prosecutor Daniel Lerner said.
"A peace bond is a court order, but there's no finding of guilt," said Lerner, now a defence lawyer. "His lawyer will probably make clear on the record that he's not admitting he did anything wrong, and in return, on the original charges, the Crown withdraws them."
Few defence lawyers would advise against taking such a deal, according to Lerner.
"The pro from the defence is the criminal charges are being withdrawn," he said. "That's, from a defence perspective, huge."
In March, Horkins delivered a scorching decision that accused all three complainants in Ghomeshi's first trial of lying or concealing evidence, after which numerous criminal lawyers told CBC News that they expected Callaghan would revisit the evidence connected to the June trial.
With files from Ioanna Roumeliotis, Alison Chiasson