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article imageJian Ghomeshi acquitted, judge calls witnesses 'deceptive'

By Marcus Hondro     Mar 24, 2016 in Crime
In what for some may be a surprising decision, Jian Ghomeshi has been acquitted on all four counts of sexual assault and one of overcoming resistance by choking. Further, the judge in the case lashed out at the three accusers.
Ghomeshi acquittal
The former host of CBC Radio's flagship show, Q, stood in the court with his high-profile lawyer, Marie Henein, by his side as the verdict was read out from the bench by Justice William B. Horkins. The Toronto courtroom was packed with media and onlookers.
Three women, including Lucy DeCoutere, a captain in the army reserves and a former cast member of the TV show Trailer Park Boys were behind the accusations. Only DeCoutere agreed to have the ban lifted and her name made public.
"Each complainant was confronted with a volume of evidence that was contrary to their prior sworn statements and their evidence in-chief," Justice Horkins said in his statement.
"Each complainant demonstrated, to some degree, a willingness to ignore their oath to tell the truth on more than one occasion," he continued. "It is this aspect of their evidence that is most troubling to the Court."
Testimony against Ghomeshi
During the trial, each Ghomeshi accuser was forced by Henein to admit to facts they had not included in their complaint. Pleasant-in-tone email exchanges up to a year or more after the alleged assaults, initiated by accusers, were among revelations that came out during trial.
In the final analysis the justice said it was "impossible for the court to have sufficient faith in the reliability" of the complainants or there complaints. That, he said, gave him no choice but to acquit Ghomeshi.
"The harsh reality is that once a witness has been shown to be deceptive and manipulative in giving their evidence," he said. "That witness can no longer expect the Court to consider them to be a trusted source of the truth."
Justice Horkins said there was "no evidence to look to determine the truth. There is no tangible evidence. There is no DNA. There is no smoking gun." However, he added that his ruling was "not the same as deciding in any positive way that these events never happened."
In addition to the accusers who were a part of the trial, nine other women spoke to media and claimed they were the victim of assault from Ghomeshi. Their accusations have never been tested in court.
Had Ghomeshi, 48, been found guilty he could have received a life-sentence — instead he walked out of court a free man today. Outside the courtroom he was met and hugged by family and supporters.
It is unclear if the prosecution intends to launch an appeal.
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