Ghomeshi's sex assault charge to be withdrawn in favour of peace bond: source
Published Tuesday, May 10, 2016 7:47AM ADT Last Updated Tuesday, May 10, 2016 11:52AM ADT
TORONTO -- A sexual assault charge laid against former CBC radio star Jian Ghomeshi is expected to be withdrawn Wednesday, a source has told The Canadian Press.
In exchange, Ghomeshi will first have to sign a peace bond.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the arrangement means Ghomeshi won't have to face a trial that had been scheduled to start on June 6.
Instead, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General was to announce on Tuesday that the case had been brought forward to Wednesday.
The source confirmed a Postmedia report that Ghomeshi is slated to appear at Ontario Court of Justice to sign the peace bond -- a Criminal Code provision most commonly applied in domestic disputes.
Ghomeshi's defence lawyer and the Ministry of the Attorney General did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the matter.
The trial would have been the second faced by the former host of "Q." The first trial ended in March with his acquittal on all charges: sexual assault and choking related to three complainants -- including actress Lucy Decoutere, the only one who agreed to be identified publicly.
The trial and not-guilty verdicts -- Judge William Horkins said he simply did not find the complainants credible -- sparked an emotional and at times angry debate across the country about how the justice system treats sexual assault complainants.
Those complaints related to events that allegedly took place in 2003.
The charge related to the June trial involved a former CBC employee who alleged he had sexually assaulted her in 2008. The woman's identity is protected by a publication ban. Ghomeshi had pleaded not guilty to that charge.
Under Section 810 of the Criminal Code, a person can enter a peace bond or recognizance in which they agree to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. The bond can be for up to a year. It's not clear what specific conditions might be imposed on Ghomeshi, who has been on bail throughout.
If no further incidents occur during that period, the bond expires and the legal proceedings end.
Normally, a justice of the peace hears evidence from both sides before requiring the peace bond be signed.
They are frequently used in domestic disputes or other cases where the authorities feel obliged to respond to a complaint but may not be sure that a criminal offence has occurred or might occur.