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The Queen v. Ali M. Toronto

(Note: names have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients)

The Case: R. v. Ali M.- Superior Court of Justice, Toronto

The Facts: Our client was an ultrasound technician at a clinic downtown. He had recently become a Canadian citizen after many years in his home country. A patient came in to have images taken of her knee. During the procedure, she accused Louis M. of touching her “private parts”; he denied that he had. Immediately after the exam, she complained to the manager that the technician had touched her inappropriately and had inserted a finger into her vagina. The client was fired the next day, and the complainant filed a claim with the College of Radiation Technologists, and sued him and the clinic. She did not go to police until two years later, after the College issued its report.

The Defence: The client denied ever touching or groping the complainant in any way. We found it odd that she did not go to police right away, despite claiming to have felt like she had been raped. However, she did complain to the manager right away. We sought a preliminary hearing to question her about these issues and to seek to understand her motivation (because our view was that this was a fabricated allegation). Before the preliminary hearing, we were able to obtain her court file from the lawsuit, and documentation from her complaint to the College. We noted some unusual discrepancies in her statements, and we were able to get her to elaborate on these at the prelim, which opened the door to a full-blown challenge to her credibility at trial.

The Trial: The trial proceeded by way of a judge without a jury in the Superior Court. A jury would have been a good option as well, but we drew a very good judge and chose to have her hear the case. The complainant testified and exaggerated some of the details even beyond some of her earlier statements. We were able to impeach her credibility by confronting her with her own prior statements, and by way of other witnesses, including the clinic manager and a medical doctor. We were also able to show that some of the physical contact she described was impossible, and some of it could be explained by the heavy and malleable lead apron that was draped over her upper body. The client testified as well. It took some intensive preparation to make sure that he could give his evidence without losing his temper or being argumentative. His sense of grievance was understandable, given that he had lost his job and had been unable to work in his field afterwards. He had a lot of trouble supporting his family after these allegations.

The Result: The judge found the client Not Guilty and acquitted him of the charge. She believed his testimony. Ali M. walked out of court a free man, able to get his professional licence reinstated, and able to resume his career and support his family again.

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