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The Queen v. Raj P. (Toronto)

The Facts: Our client is a project manager working for a mortgage company. The complainant, Jill M., was a co-worker who worked for Raj. Jill M. was denied a promotion in part because of the economic crisis, but mainly due to her poor performance reviews from her boss, Raj. Jill quit her job. A few weeks later, after being denied severance pay, she went, in order: to the police to file sexual assault charges against Raj; to the civil courts to argue that she was constructively dismissed from her job; and to the Ontario Human Rights Commission to argue that Raj and the company had cultivated an environment of hostility and sexual harassment against her. She told the police that during the 18 months that she had worked for Raj, he had repeatedly made advances towards her, including inappropriate touching, and, at one corporate retreat, had entered her room at night and climbed onto bed with her, naked.

The Defence Strategy: Raj, who lived with his girlfriend, was devastated by the charges, but his girlfriend and his employer stood by him throughout his ordeal. Raj informed us that in fact Jill had been the one to make advances towards him, and had saved text and voice messages, email and even an anonymous sexually explicit Valentine’s day card to prove it (we hired an expert who concluded that the handwriting was hers). We were able to access the employment records to show that Raj had always behaved appropriately towards his staff, and that Jill, by contrast, had a history of being a difficult employee. We interviewed many of the employees, who supported Raj’s story. At the retreat, Jill had been very drunk and had flirted openly with a number of employees, including Raj. Several co-workers testified that she was furious at her negative work evaluations, and had threatened to sue Raj and the company.

The Trial: Several of the company’s employees testified before a judge in the Ontario Court at Old City Hall in Toronto. Raj and his girlfriend were also excellent witnesses, documenting Jill’s inappropriate advances towards Raj, including calls to his apartment late at night. Jill was cross-examined for two days, and the proceedings were attended by the Toronto lawyers defending Raj and the company on the civil lawsuit she filed against them. They took careful notes as she was caught up in lies, inconsistencies and exaggerations.

The Result: After five days of trial, the judge dismissed all the charges against Raj. He is now a Vice-president at his company. We are vigorously defending his case before the Human Rights Commission and are working closely with his civil counsel and the company’s lawyers on the lawsuit.

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