Ghomeshi Trial Begins
CBJ — Monday is the start of the criminal trial of disgraced former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi.
The 48-year-old Ghomeshi has pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking. His trial in Ontario Court in Toronto will be presided over by Judge William Horkins. There is no jury.
The complainants in this trial are three women who claim Ghomeshi got violent during dates, without their consent. As in all sexual assault cases, their identities are automatically protected by a publication ban. Actress and air force captain Lucy Decoutere is the only complainant who has asked for the ban on her identity to be waived.
The CBC fired Ghomeshi on Oct. 26, 2014, days after two executives were shown graphic evidence the radio host had physically injured a woman. Ghomeshi had shown them material to prove everything he was being accused of by a “jilted ex girlfriend” was consensual.
In a post to his Facebook account soon after his firing, Ghomeshi, perhaps unwisely, detailed his “adventurous” sexual tastes, including “role play, dominance and submission.” He insisted all his BDSM relations were consensual. However, no sooner had the post be made public before media reports quickly followed in which several women came forward, alleging Ghomeshi attacked them without their consent.
It’s not yet known whether Ghomeshi will take the stand in his own defence. That decision will largely depend on the courtroom climate and whether his legal team believes they are likely winning or losing the case to that point. The defendant cannot be forced to take the stand.