June 27, 2019 5:01 pm

Sexual assault complainant can testify via videolink, N.S. judge rules

Nova Scotia Supreme Court is pictured on May 18, 2016.

Global News

A Nova Scotia judge will allow a sexual assault complainant to testify via videolink from Japan, despite defence objections it will make it difficult to test her credibility in a case that revolves around consent.

Richard Bruce Stevens is scheduled to stand trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in September for the alleged sexual assault of a woman who lives in Japan.

The Crown asked that she be allowed to testify via videolink, because she does not want to be forced to explain to her family why she is returning to Nova Scotia.

According to a ruling released Thursday, defence lawyer Michael Scott objected, because he will raise the defence of honest but mistaken belief of consent, and her credibility will be a “central issue.”

He argued that videolink testimony – combined with the need for a translator – would hamper Stevens’ ability to challenge her testimony at trial.

Justice Darlene Jamieson, however, granted the Crown’s request – subject to a successful test run of the videolink before the trial – saying the testimony would not be “contrary to the principles of fundamental justice.”

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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