Former Edmonton nightclub promoter to remain in prison after SCOC dismisses appeal request

Matthew McKnight and his mother walk into court, in Edmonton on Friday, July 10, 2020. Jason Franson, The Canadian Press

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to say McKnight has run out of options to appeal his conviction, not his sentence.

A former Edmonton nightclub employee who sexually assaulted several women has run out of legal options to appeal his conviction.

The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday dismissed an appeal request from Matthew Lloyd McKnight.

McKnight, who is in his mid-30s, was accused of sexually assaulting 13 women ranging in age from 17 to 22 between 2010 and 2016.

He was an assistant manager and promoter working for the owner of several bars and nightclubs in Edmonton.

Court heard McKnight met most of the women in bars and assaulted them at his apartment.

He pleaded not guilty, but a jury convicted him on five counts of sexual assault.

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The judge in 2020 initially sentenced McKnight to 16-and-a-half years, but reduced his sentence to 10 years based on the totality principle.

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His sentence was further reduced due to an assault McKnight suffered at the Edmonton Remand Centre and the judge’s belief the former nightclub consultant has an excellent chance for rehabilitation.

McKnight was eventually ordered to serve eight years in prison. The prosecution asked for a sentence of 22-and-a-half years in prison, while McKnight’s lawyer suggested five to nine years.

Click to play video: 'Video submitted in court shows attack on convicted sex offender Matthew McKnight'
Video submitted in court shows attack on convicted sex offender Matthew McKnight

McKnight’s lawyers filed the notice of appeal of his conviction in August 2020 that complained of “Crown counsel’s conduct during cross-examination, including asking questions laced with sarcasm and inflammatory language.”

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A panel of three judges with the Alberta Court of Appeal heard the matter in June 2021 and released its decision, dismissing both grounds of the appeal last summer, on July 18, 2022.

That same day, he took the case to the highest court in Canada.

In order to appeal a decision of a court of appeal to the Supreme Court, Canadians must ask the court for leave (permission) to do so.

On Thursday, the SCOC came back and said no, dismissing the case.

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