Thursday, 5 December 2013

Pre-trial circus. (14 of 149)

Looking back I remember the deep concern they showed towards my accuser. They said such things as;
"In the interest of a young lady, who is at such a sweet and tender innocent age...".
And they would seal the court room and apply a publicity ban so that no one could find out what was going on or speculate on what they thought had gone on so as to "not further HER embarrassment".
They even applied for and won the right to place a screen up in front of my accuser before they would bring me in so that she wouldn't have to look at me while she testified. My lawyers once explained that even though I technically had the right under law to face my accuser the screen prevented me from threatening her with looks.
...So we're just going to ignore my rights then? Welcome to Canada, the land where rights are subject to interpretation.

In serious cases like this one they run a mini trial first where all the charges and evidence is presented and debated and a judge decides if there is enough merit for a full on official trial or not. You might recall from my previous blog entry, "Lazy Lawyers", this trial was actually delayed and I had to spend an additional 3 days in jail because my accuser failed to appear in court. The crown prosecution admits that according to police phone records, (my accuser) made a phone call to the police in which she tried to explain she would not be able to attend court. However, when they transfered her to the correct person, she had already hung up. The crown tried to cover her ass that day by claiming;
"Your honour, apparently there was a miss-communication. The VICTIM [always the victim] had a prior mental health appointment [in regards to what I allegedly did to her] that we were unaware of and could not attend court". The next trial my attorney wasn't prepared to cross examine my accuser (because she was convinced [my accuser] wasn't going to show up), so the judge reschedules the hearing for seven months down the road! Seven more months of me being under house arrest and not able to work. Seven more months of worrying about my future and being treated like a rapist!

Anyways, the pretrial continuation date arrives just before Christmas 2012. This time I didn't have to turn myself in 3 days before which I felt was very nice of them. I just had to drive nearly 400 kilometers and then turn myself over to the RCMP so they could bring me to court. Despite the heavy snow storm where I lived, I did as requested. Once the RCMP turned me over to court sheriffs, the court sheriffs thought it ridiculous that they didn't even put me in a cell. I watched them set up the screen again and watched (my accuser's) mother pose as my accuser to check the view and make sure (my accuser) wouldn't be able to see me. Pre-trial was scheduled to begin at 9:00 am but they made me wait to be last, after they cleared the docket.

Under cross examination, my lawyer asks my accuser to talk about why she didn't show up for court as ordered by the judge. She admits she was partying with friends and getting drunk (she was 17 and therefore underage) and high on drugs. She claims she couldn't call in because nobody at this party had a cell phone. Yet somehow she managed to make a call to her mother to inquire about what time court started. My accuser then admits that she and her drunk and stoned friends were driving around and partying when she was supposed to be in court. So both her and her attorney lied seven months earlier. Throughout this cross examination, my accuser was pulling all sorts of childish antics. She was asking things like;
"Do I have to answer these questions?"
"What if I just leave now, what will happen to me?"
She threw fits of rage, she kept claiming she couldn't remember anything, ...etc. The court room sheriffs were getting visibly annoyed by it. You could see them shake their heads. They would voice to one another in open court;
"Are you serious!?"
"Are they really going to keep letting her go and talk to her mother and get advice on what to say?!"
"Unbelievable!" One even said;
"This is clearly bullshit."

The defense lawyer then inquires about the other 11 serious allegations of physical and sexual abuse and rape which were made by my accuser against other people, (including 2 proven false allegations of physical abuse which my accuser leveled against her then 29 year old boyfriend and his mother nearly a year AFTER the rape allegations she filed against me)! In each and every single case, my accuser either admitted to lying or was caught lying. True to form, under oath, my accuser RE-ACCUSES her ex-boyfriend and his mother again. Despite the fact, that matter had already been closed in court! The judge rules that they are all separate issues, and that the defense is not allowed to discuss them as they have no bearing on my particular case! Eleven instances of false accusations. How could none of this matter? Shouldn't ELEVEN instances indicate a propensity of lying?
My accuser's response to this was she stormed off the stand without permission, kicked open a set of double doors and exited the court room. We could all hear her yell to her mother;
 "They are asking about [name withheld]! They are so fucking fucked! That was five years ago!"
Eventually, they brought her back on the stand and my accuser tells my attorney;
"That was 5 years ago, people! Move on from those kinds of things! Get over it!"

After court was dismissed, my accuser and her mother were ordered to appear when told. I was so busy talking to my lawyer that I failed to notice the sheriffs had left the court room. I was released and free to go, but I was unsure if I first had to check with the sheriffs. So I went and knocked on the security door. Somebody on the other side yelled "Yeah?". I said;
"This is [Tortured], do I have to sign back out or anything?" They responded;
"[Tortured], you've been through enough today, just go home and drive safe." I reported this to my lawyer and she said; 
"Well, I guess you're walking out the front doors." At this time I could hear my accuser yelling and screaming from the lobby. I said, 
"Well, I don't want any further issues, can you escort me out so that no one can say anything else further about me?" which she did. As we left I was shocked about what I seen and heard. My accuser, her mother and the crown attorney were all huddled together along with the victim services worker. [My accuser] was yelling at the crown prosecutor;
"Thanks for wasting my fucking time, you can go fuck yourself! I'm not showing up for trial!" All the while, the crown prosecutor was coddling her, attempting to calm her down by saying; 
"Its okay, just keep doing what we tell you to do, and say what you're saying and how you're doing it. We got this one if you just hold it together. The judge will be sympathetic to us." He also adds; 
"Just relax, go home and just think Christmas is just around the corner. You have something to look forward too." (my accuser) threw back; 
"[Tortured] ruined Christmas for me forever! Fuck Christmas!"

It was then announced that I was trying to leave. The crown prosecutor got in my face and says; 
"Oh no you don't!" I was about ready to tell him to "fuck off!" when my lawyer stepped between us and said;
"He's with me, tell them to vacate now". The crown prosecutor took one look at her and knew she meant business so he turned around and told them, and they got the hell out of there. I returned home and waited for news about when and where I would be required to reappear in court on the day of the official trial.

(You can read about that court debacle in the blog entry "Acquitted".)

Thanks for reading. More to come.

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