Former Canadian Radio Host Jian Ghomeshi Gets a Court Date for His Sexual Assault Charges

Two of the charges have been dropped by the government, but the fired broadcaster will still have to answer allegations from six women.

by Hilary Beaumont
13 May 2015, 3:15pm

Jian Ghomeshi at an event before he was fired and charged. Photo via Flickr user Damien D.

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.

Sexual assault allegations by four different women against former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi are finally going to court.

Tuesday morning, Justice Rebecca Rutherford set court dates for two separate trials that will both be heard by a judge rather than a jury. Allegations by three women will have their day in court next February while a fourth woman's allegations will go to court more than a year from now, in June 2016.

The former CBC host is charged with five counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking. The charges stem from explosive reports in the Toronto Star in the fall of 2014 in which more than 15 women came forward to say Ghomeshi had violently abused and harassed them over the years, including during his time as the then-popular host at CBC Radio's Q.

But Tuesday morning, the Crown dropped two of eight charges against the former host, saying they had no reasonable prospect of conviction. Crown prosecutor Michael Callaghan said Tuesday in court, "We wish to be abundantly clear this determination is not a reflection of the truthfulness or credibility of any witnesses but rather a determination that specific allegations would not meet the legal burden of proof."

Since the two dropped sexual assault charges were alleged by two separate women, it means only four women instead of an original group of six who spoke to police will have their stories heard in court.

The Star reported today that the two dropped charges related to alleged sexual assaults in August 2002 and May 2003.

Ghomeshi has maintained his innocence, saying in an infamous Facebook post that he enjoys BDSM and "rough sex" and the encounters were consensual.

In the October Facebook post, which bizarrely triggered the publication of the women's allegations, Ghomeshi accused the CBC of firing him "because of the risk of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex-girlfriend and a freelance writer."

In a memo last October, the CBC told employees Ghomeshi was fired after executives saw evidence he injured a woman.

"I have always been interested in a variety of activities in the bedroom but I only participate in sexual practices that are mutually agreed upon, consensual, and exciting for both partners," the post on Ghomeshi's Facebook page read.

But his accusers told the Star that Ghomeshi did not obtain their consent before he hit, choked, and sexually abused them.

Ghomeshi is currently out on $100,000 bail.

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