(This story has been updated by the author, as a publication ban was ordered month’s later on the name of the accused to protect the identity of the victim.)
An Ontario Court of Appeal hearing date has been set for a Picton man appealing his conviction on the grounds that the judge allegedly misapplied burden of proof.
On April 11 2016, the 42-year-old man was sentenced to serve 20 months in jail and two years probation after being found guilty of sexual interference. Charges of sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching were stayed.
The charges involved a young person well under the age of 16 and occurred three years prior.
During the trial Crown Mike Lunski asked for three years, while defence lawyer John Wonnacott asked for a 12 to 18 month jail sentence.
Justice Wolf Tausenfreund said the man was in a position of trust and authority in regards to the complainant. He ordered the man’s name be put on a sex offender registry, along with submitting a sample to the DNA bank.
He then filed an appeal with the court five days before his sentencing. He was granted bail pending the appeal on April 12.
According to files with the Ontario Court of Appeal, the man stated: “The trial judge misapplied burden of proof by rejecting an alternate explanation for the complainant’s account of the alleged sexual assault on the basis that it was only a possibility. There was excessive emphasis on the complainant’s apparent lack of motive to implicate the appellant in a sexual assault. Against the backdrop of these errors and given the trial judge found no deficiency in the appellant’s testimony and did find contradictions in the complainant’s account – the reasons for judgement are insufficient to explain the results and provide for meaningful appellant review.”
He is to appear before the Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto on May 3 with his Ottawa area lawyer Howard Krongold.