Toronto criminal lawyer cleared of sexually assaulting, beating woman – Toronto Star Article
Judge finds testimony from woman who claimed the two had a three-month romance fueled by cocaine and booze not credible.
Published on Friday, October 26, 2012
Peter Small, Courts Bureau
A Toronto criminal lawyer has been acquitted of beating, sexually assaulting and threatening to kill a woman he says he knew only casually.
A relieved D.D. 33, who spent several weeks in custody before making bail this autumn, left an Old City Hall courtroom raising his arms in jubilation Friday. The 23-year-old woman, who cannot be identified, spun “a web of vicious lies,” he told reporters.
He denied he and the woman even dated, though she told the court they had a stormy three-month relationship.
Provincial court Justice Micheline Rawlins said she found most of the woman’s testimony contradictory and incredible, implying she was needy and self-centred.
D. never took the stand in his defence.
The two started dating in December 2010 after they met online and started emailing, testified the woman.
She described cocaine and alcohol binges with D., whom she regarded as a catch, partly because he is a lawyer battling racial profiling.
“She seemed infatuated with him,” the judge said.
But the woman also testified that D. was controlling, jealous and both verbally and physically abusive. She said she received numerous injuries and bruises from his assaults, which included pushing her down stairs, and he once had sex with her without her clear consent.
After one alleged beating, however, she still stayed at his condo, testifying she had invested too much in the relationship to leave, the judge said.
The judge also found several of the woman’s injuries consistent with her resisting D.’s attempts to render first aid as she sat in a bathtub after deliberately cutting her own arm.
One relative testified she was manipulative and a “bit of a drama queen,” the judge said.
The judge implied the woman fabricated the accusations against D. to spare herself being seen “in a negative light.”
Outside court, D. s lawyer, David Bayliss, called the evidence extremely unreliable.
“The young lady had sworn an affidavit saying it hadn’t happened.” She was heard on the telephone denying the allegations were true, he said.
“I don’t think any judge could have relied on this evidence to found a conviction against anyone,” Bayliss said.
D. denied to reporters he met the woman online or they even dated. He said, rather, he met her “a handful of times” and she would show up drunk at his door.
He implied police targeted him, despite flimsy evidence, because he is a defence lawyer unafraid to litigate racial profiling cases.
“There is no rational or factual explanation that could justify the nature of this prosecution,” he said.
I fight for the wrongly accused all the time,” he said. “Unfortunately, we have a system where somebody makes an allegation, and in many ways you’re treated like you’re guilty until you’re proven innocent.”