Ottawa man was found not guilty of sexual assault due to lack of knowledge

A shocking story in Ottawa recently showed a man had been found not guilty of sexually assaulting his wife because of his honest belief that he had the right to have intercourse with her whenever he wanted.

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Man Who Sexually Assaulted Receives No Punishment

A shocking story in the Ottawa Citizen recently showed a man had been found not guilty of sexually assaulting his wife because of his honest belief that he had the right to have intercourse with her whenever he wanted.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith said the Crown failed to prove that the accused had formed the required criminal intent to sexually assault his wife in 2002.

“I find that the accused probably had sex with his wife on many occasions without her specific consent, as both he and she believed that he had the right to do so,” Smith said.

However, the judge ruled the man was not guilty of sexual assault because the Crown had failed to establish that he knew his behaviour was, in fact, criminal.

The man was part of an arranged marriage in Gaza before moving to settle in Ottawa.

She testified that during their marriage, she considered it her obligation to have sex with her husband.

The couple separated in January 2013.

Allegedly soon after that, the woman came to understand her right to refuse sexual relations after speaking with a police officer and subsequently filed charges.

The husband denied ever having sexual relations with his wife without her consent, and specifically denied the incident that led to the charges.

His wife alleged that, in 2002, he grabbed her by the wrist, pulled her onto the couch, pulled down her pants and had sex with her even though she asked him three times to stop.

The judge said she was a credible witness who gave straightforward answers.

Most bizarre though in this entire story is the defence of her husband.

The husband alleges that he had undergone a hair transplant at the time of the supposed assault. His doctor, he testified, had told him to abstain from sex for two weeks after the surgical procedure and that therefore he could not commit the crime.

“The accused did not call any medical evidence to show this was standard medical practice,” the judge said, “and I find his evidence in this regard does not accord with common sense to a reasonably informed person.”

Smith said the man was argumentative and evasive as a witness, and he rejected his account as not believable.

Nevertheless, the judge said he could not find him guilty of a crime.

Problematic Outcome

As a Canadian, I am simply blown away by the outcome of this trial. In what world is it ok for a man to rape his wife? The correct answer is none. Regardless of background, we cannot allow anyone within this nation to walk away free when such violent crimes as rape.

There truly is no moral argument that can be made for as why being from another country would allow enough cultural protection to ignore a rape situation, and if its then we have systematically broken immigration system.

Let me be clear I truly believe Canada has one of the best immigration and legal systems on earth but that doesn’t mean there aren’t problems or that it cant be made better.

If we are providing cultural grounds to bypass large-scale Canadian laws, then maybe perhaps we should just ask simple questions such as “Do you believe your wife can provide consent?”

Anyone who answers no should really be in jail or not in this country.



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Ali Taghva

Business owner, former riding President, and Bachelors in Industrial Relations from Mcgill. Interested in the intersection of politics and culture. I firmly believe in a free media and work to push new stories to your door each day.

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