Editor’s note: A previous update on this story said that charges against Jessica Yaniv had been dismissed. In fact, the charges remain active with the next court date on Feb. 10. Global News regrets the error.
A B.C. woman who made headlines for a failed human rights complaint alleging she was discriminated against by aestheticians who wouldn’t wax her male genitalia is facing criminal charges.
The Langley RCMP said Monday that Jessica Yaniv, 32, is facing two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon after brandishing a taser in a video feud with another YouTube user.
Police said that on Aug. 5 they received multiple reports of a Langley woman who had brandished the weapon during a live stream.
“During the streaming, the weapon was not deployed TOWARD anyone,” said police in a media release.
In the hour-long video, Yaniv, who is transgender, is engaged in a debate with right-wing YouTuber and political commentator Blaire White, who is also transgender, centred around Yaniv’s human rights complaint.
At one point when the debate becomes heated, Yaniv goes off-screen momentarily before responding to White.
“I don’t need to be scared in my own house, that I’m going to get (expletive) attacked,” says Yaniv, before raising a taser and activating it on screen.
After viewing the video, RCMP attended Yaniv’s house and arrested her. A search of the property the following day found two conducted electrical weapons, said RCMP.
In a Facebook message, Yaniv expressed confidence the charges wouldn’t stick.
“I’d rather not give away any potential evidence I may have that will get my charges easily acquitted / dropped,” said Yaniv.
“Believe me, I have lots. The RCMP screwed up and they know it too, hence why they have this little hissy fit against me when I call to report anything they refuse to take a report now.”
In October, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal issued a scathing ruling against Yaniv, finding her multiple complaints of discrimination against aestheticians, most of whom were women of visible minorities, were made in bad faith.
Yaniv had alleged that the aestheticians had denied her intimate waxing services because she was transgender.
The tribunal found Yaniv had repeatedly been deceptive and had sought to target small businesses for financial gain “or to punish certain ethnic groups which she perceives as hostile to the rights of LGBTQ+ people.”
It further found that the workers could not be compelled to perform intimate services on male genitalia and that refusing to do so did not amount to discrimination.
She was ordered to pay $2,000 each to three of the respondents in the case.
Yaniv is due back in court on Jan. 13, 2020 to face the weapons charges.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that both Yaniv and White are transgender people