(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.)
It could be six months before a decision is made on a Picton man’s appeal of a sexual interference conviction.
In April 2016, the 42-year-old man was sentenced by Justice Wolf Tausenfreund to serve 20 months in jail and two years probation after being found guilty of sexual interference on a young person well under the age of 16. The incidents occurred three years prior.
Charges of sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching were stayed. It was also ordered the man’s name be put on a sex offender registry and that he submit a sample to the DNA bank. The man filed his appeal with the courts five days before sentencing and was granted bail pending the decision.
The is appealing the conviction on the grounds that the judge allegedly misapplied burden of proof.
In a Toronto courtroom Wednesday, Justices Eileen Gillese, Grant Huscroft and Gary Trotter heard the appeal and reserved judgement.
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.”
The court’s office said a judgement in the case could take anywhere from one week to six months.