Supreme Court convicts man barred from cross-examining victim by rape shield law

The Supreme Court of Canada has restored the conviction of a man who had his sexual-assault conviction quashed by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Law aims to protect sexual-assault complainants from unfair scrutiny of sex lives

In June of 2018, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the rape-shield law unfairly applied to a case involving a pregnant teenager. Today, the Supreme Court restored the conviction. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Canada's top court has restored the conviction of a man who argued the rape shield law had prevented him from defending himself properly.

While the court found errors in previous rulings leading to his conviction, it said no miscarriage of justice had occurred.

The man known as R.V. was convicted of sexually interfering with a 15-year-old girl.

To bolster its case, the Crown introduced evidence she became pregnant at the time of the alleged assault.

Lower courts refused to allow R.V. to cross-examine her on other sexual activity that might have accounted for her pregnancy.

Ontario's Appeal Court ordered a new trial, but the Supreme Court said that was a mistake and convicted R.V.