Supreme Court to rule on use of sexual history in Edmonton assault trial

By The Canadian Press
June 28, 2019 - 2:15am

OTTAWA — A Supreme Court decision due this morning could clarify the law on how much of the history between a complainant and a person accused in a sexual-assault case can be brought into court.

Patrick John Goldfinch was charged  in 2014 with assaulting a woman he once lived with.

He was acquitted at his trial in Edmonton after a jury heard evidence that he and the alleged victim still had a "friends-with-benefits" relationship.

A complainant's sexual history can't ordinarily be used as evidence unless it's directly relevant to the charge.

But in this case, the judge allowed it, worried that jurors would have thought the relationship was platonic if they didn't know about Goldfinch's history with the woman.

Alberta's Court of Appeal said last year that could have been avoided without specifically talking about their sexual history, and now the Supreme Court is to make a final decision.

The Canadian Press

In the news today, June 28