Jian Ghomeshi accuser ‘saddened’ to hear he won’t face second sex assault trial
A complainant in former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi’s previous trial says she is “saddened” to hear he is expected to sign a peace bond to withdraw a charge of sexual assault for his upcoming trial in June.
Linda Redgrave, the first complainant in the sexual assault and overcome resistance by choking trial Ghomeshi was acquitted in earlier this year, said the expectation that he will sign the recognizance agreement Wednesday doesn’t make sense to her.
“I was saddened by it. I was saddened because I feel like the woman isn’t having her day in court and Jian Ghomeshi is not having to answer to the allegations against him,” Redgrave told Global News Tuesday.
“It feels like he’s just getting off and I’m not sure why, I’m not sure what went on, I’m not privy to that, but it just doesn’t feel right.”
Ghomeshi, 48, has maintained his innocence from day one in connection with allegations brought forth by the complainants in both trials.
Redgrave waived her right to a ban on her identity last month in the previous trial, and said Tuesday she didn’t understand why a peace bond was relevant in a workplace sexual harassment allegation involving a former CBC employee.
“They don’t work together anymore, he is no longer with CBC so to me it says you can harass somebody in the workplace and as long as you promise not to go near them it’s OK,” she said.
“This just doesn’t seem to fit right with me. I feel like he needs to go to court and he needs to be accountable for what he’s done, or not done.”
READ MORE: Jian Ghomeshi trial: What is a peace bond?
Chuck Thompson, CBC head of public affairs, said in an emailed statement Tuesday that the recent developments in the case are “unrelated to our decision to end Jian Ghomeshi’s employment with CBC.”
“Based on the evidence that came to our attention, Mr. Ghomeshi’s actions were not in line with the values of the public broadcaster nor with our employee code of conduct and we stand by this decision,” he said.
Criminal lawyer and legal analyst Lorne Honickman said the proposed peace bond is not an admission of guilt and is not uncommon in sexual assault cases.
WATCH: Three options for those sexually harassed or assaulted in the workplace
“It’s important for the defence — [since there is] no criminal conviction — but it also could be very important for the Crown,” he said.
“The Crown can look at its case, may feel that they don’t have a reasonable prospect of conviction or perhaps they have a complainant that doesn’t want to testify or only cares about making sure there’s no contact direct or indirect.”
Honickman also said it’s uncommon for someone entering into a peace bond to speak in court.
“It will be very interesting to hear what, if anything, Mr. Ghomeshi says tomorrow,” he said. “I can tell you it most certainly will be properly crafted whatever he says in open court.”
Honickman added that the peace bond is not just a piece of paper, as Ghomeshi would be entering a recognizance to “keep the peace” and if he were to breach the conditions he would face another serious criminal charge.
Redgrave said she does not know the complainant in this case personally, but stands by her decision to come forward with allegations against Ghomeshi despite the lack of a conviction in his previous trial.
“I don’t have any regrets coming forward and speaking up against what I saw as a problem and I’m happy that other women also came forward,” she said.
“I’m not happy that the Crown dropped two of those charges from the other women. I’m not happy with the way this has progressed and I think it all comes to the same thing I’ve been saying over and over and over is this is not the way to try a sexual assault case.”
Redgrave said she believes that if this sexual assault trial does go forward, it would have a similar outcome to Ghomeshi’s previous trial, in which he was acquitted of all charges.
WATCH: Jian Ghomeshi complainant Linda Redgrave speaks out about the trial
“So perhaps they knew it was going to fail and the Crown withdrew the charges. I’m not sure, but I would do it again,” she said, adding that she has since become an advocate for sexual assault trial reform in Canada through her website comingforward.ca.
“I won’t be able to sleep at night if I don’t keep fighting for some kind of change … I am not going to stop here, and I’ll be outside [court] tomorrow.”
With files from Christina Stevens and Farah Nasser
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.