HALIFAX – Proponents of a Halifax lawyer who was convicted of sexual assault last month are planning a rally in support of him.
Organizer David Sparks said a rally for Lyle Howe will start at noon on Wednesday at the George Dixon Centre in Halifax’s north end and will end at the Law Courts on Lower Water Street.
“We were quite upset and shocked by the verdict. We felt a protest was in order to show our disapproval,” he said.
On May 31, a Supreme Court jury found Howe, 29, guilty of sexual assault but not guilty of administering a stupefying drug. The jury reached the verdict after two days of deliberation.
Howe argued the sexual encounter was consensual while the Crown argued the complainant was too incapacitated to give consent.
The charges stemmed from an incident involving a 19-year-old woman in 2011.
Sparks, who only met Howe after his conviction, said he believes the suspended lawyer is innocent.
“We felt [the verdict] was unjust, not fair,” he said.
He hopes the rally has an impact on Howe’s sentencing, which is set for the end of July, as well as the larger issue of racism in the province.
Sparks said Howe will not be present at the rally.
Global News reached out to the Nova Scotia Department of Justice but a spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.
Rene Ross, who is helping to develop an updated sexual assault strategy for the province, also declined to comment because the matter is still before the courts.
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