Trial begins for corrections officer accused of assault with a weapon in 2012

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Trial begins for corrections officer accused of assault with a weapon in 2012
WATCH: After being involved in an incident with an inmate at Millhaven Institution in 2012, a corrections officer is facing one count of assault with a weapon just over a decade later. – Jan 6, 2023

Witnesses took the stand at the courthouse in Napanee, Ont., in the first day of a trial to decide whether a corrections officer is guilty of assault with a weapon against a prisoner in his care 10 years after the incident.

While incarcerated at Millhaven Institution in 2012, Christophe Lewis alleges he was assaulted by a group of correctional officers following a routine visit. The accused, Blair Kay, is alleged to have been one of the officers involved in the incident.

In court Friday, he pleaded not guilty to one count of assault with a weapon.

While on the stand, Lewis described what he called a beating, saying that he was ordered to conduct a strip search, a routine procedure following a visit, by a female officer. He says he requested a male officer, which is protocol.

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After this, he says a group of other officers came into the room, all telling the victim to comply with the search. A video of the incident appears to show Lewis being pepper-sprayed, and then tackled by numerous guards as well as being put into a chokehold.

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The complainant says he was choked until he passed out. When defence lawyer Matthew Hodgson cross-examined, he questioned Lewis about his compliance with officer’s orders and challenged Lewis’s belief that the female officer intended to conduct the strip-search.

He then asked Lewis about a statement taken from him after the altercation, back in 2012. Hodgson read from statement, signed by Lewis, which quoted Lewis as saying:

“At that point in time I said I wish you would put your hands on me because then I would file a complaint”

Lewis said that while he could see himself saying something like that, he insisted that he was not being defiant, or aggressive with officers. The defence declined the opportunity for an interview outside court.

It will be some time before this matter is back in the court since the next dates for this case are set for March 2 and 9 of this year.


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