Former Halifax taxi driver Bassam Al-Rawi found guilty of sexual assault
HALIFAX -- Former Halifax taxi driver Bassam Al-Rawi has been convicted of sexual assault.
Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Gerald Moir delivered the guilty verdict Friday.
"The guilty verdict tells the system, tells the community, that when you come forward and you are honest and you tell the truth about violence that happens to you, you can make a difference," said Crown Attorney Carla Ball.
Al-Rawi elected to be tried by judge-alone.
At his trial, the complainant, whose identity is protected by a court-imposed publication ban, told the court she was intoxicated in downtown Halifax in December 2012, when a taxi driver picked her up.
The woman said the driver took her to his apartment, where he sexually assaulted her while she pretended to be unconscious.
Although Al-Rawi's lawyer said there were gaps in the woman's memory, Justice Moir said he believed the complainant.
"This case is a reminder that implied consent does not exist. People have to be sure that they've got consent before engaging in any sexual activity," said Ball, who commended the woman's bravery in coming forward.
"It is really satisfying to see that someone that has come forward and working so hard to be honest and is honest is believed."
Al-Rawi was previously charged with sexually assaulting another woman in his cab in 2015 but was acquitted in that case.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 3. Since he is currently living in Germany with his wife, Al-Rawi must reside in Nova Scotia until he is sentenced and abide by a number of conditions, including not to have any contact with the victim and abide by a curfew.
Justice Moir also made Al-Rawi surrender his passport.
Carla Ball says she will be pushing for Al-Rawi to serve time behind bars.
"The Crown will be guided by the law," Ball said. "The Crown undoubtedly will be asking for a penitentiary term."
Al-Rawi is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 3.