May 31, 2014 2:47 pm

Halifax lawyer Lyle Howe found guilty of sexual assault

Lyle Howe

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

HALIFAX – A Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury has found Halifax lawyer Lyle Howe, 29, guilty of sexual assault but not guilty of administering a stupefying drug.

The jury reached the verdict after two days of deliberations.

The charges stem from an incident involving a 19-year-old woman on March 20, 2011.

Howe has maintained that the sexual encounter was consensual, but the Crown argued the complainant was too incapacitated to give consent.

Chief Justice Joseph Kennedy has requested pre-sentence reports from the Crown and defence within six weeks  and has set sentencing for July 30 at 2 p.m.

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“We haven’t formed a position on sentencing yet,” Crown attorney Darcy MacPherson told reporters outside the courtroom.  “We haven’t done the research that will be necessary to do that, but I can tell you that it will be a substantial custodial period that we’ll be seeking.”

When asked about the impact of this verdict on Howe’s career, his lawyer Mike Taylor said it was “destroyed” but added that Howe’s license to practice law has not been suspended yet.

“Mr. Howe is still, at this point, a practicing lawyer and if his clients wish him to continue, at this point, there’s nothing to stop him from doing that.”

Taylor also said there is a reasonable chance his client will appeal the decision.

 

With files from Mayya Assouad

 

 

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