No doubt that accused’s exercise of authority vitiated complainant’s consent

Ontario criminal | Evidence

CREDIBILITY

No doubt that accused’s exercise of authority vitiated complainant’s consent

Accused appealed conviction for assault with weapon and sexual assault. Accused argued trial judge erred in assessment of complainant’s credibility and reliability, erred in holding that Crown had proved that exercise of his authority vitiated complainant’s consent, and that trial judge’s reasons for rejecting his evidence were conclusory and inadequate. Appeal dismissed. Trial judge was alive to inconsistencies between complainant’s evidence and evidence of accused’s daughter. It was open to trial judge to find that inconsistencies were overshadowed by consistencies in evidence, especially evidence that accused exercised reign of power, fear, and terror in household. Trial judge did not expressly refer to reliability of complainant’s evidence, as material acts giving rise to those charges were admitted by accused. Although trial judge’s reasons were brief, findings that accused was in position of authority and used that authority to force complainant to comply with his demands were fully supported by evidence. There was no doubt on record that accused’s exercise of authority vitiated complainant’s consent. Trial judge was entirely justified in disbelieving accused’s evidence, as case against him was overwhelming.
R. v. C. (J.) (Jul. 18, 2013, Ont. C.A., John Laskin J.A., E.E. Gillese J.A., and G.R. Strathy J.A., File No. CA C55212) 108 W.C.B. (2d) 82.

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