Former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi faces three new sex assault charges
WATCH: Christina Stevens reports on the new charges facing Jian Ghomeshi following a brief court appearance in Toronto
TORONTO – Former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi is facing three new charges of sexual assault following a brief court appearance in Toronto Thursday morning.
Three new complainants have come forward against the former Q host accusing him of sexual assault. The identities of the new victims are covered by a publication ban.
Ghomeshi walked past a throng of reporters and media cameras alongside his lawyer Marie Henein just before 10 a.m. without saying a word, and later left the same way, ignoring questions from reporters.
He originally faced five criminal charges, including four counts of sexual assault and one charge of choking, in relation to alleged assault incidents involving three other women.
“We’ll be entering a plea of not guilty to these new charges,” Henein told reporters. “And other than that, as I’ve indicated before, whatever I have to say, I’ll say in court.”
According to lawyer Irwin Isenstein, the new charges don’t change the overall makeup or the complexity of the case. Instead, he said, the new charges give Ghomeshi’s lawyer more work to do.
“It won’t affect the complexity of the case in the sense that they were probably aware that there were potentially other complainants out there who presumably will be saying the same things as the first three complainants,” he said in an interview Thursday.
“It’ll just require her to sit down and devote more time to digesting the new materials, the new interviews that the complainants will have given to the police.”
Ghomeshi is not in custody and his bail was also renewed at $100,000.
Ghomeshi had previously denied the allegations in multiple Facebook posts and said while he engaged in rough sex, his relationships with women were consensual.
Meanwhile, two CBC executives involved in the handling of the Jian Ghomeshi affair were placed on a leave of absence Monday.
CBC head of radio Chris Boyce and Todd Spencer were named in a memo to CBC staff from the corporation’s vice-president of English services.
Boyce is a key figure in the Ghomeshi scandal. In a November report by CBC’s The Fifth Estate he said he led a summer-time internal investigation into Ghomeshi’s conduct that failed to reveal any evidence the radio host had harassed co-workers on the radio show Q.
Ghomeshi is due back in court Feb. 4.