West coast lawyer charged with sex of­fence re­leased from cus­tody

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - PROVINCIAL - BY GARY KEAN

A west coast lawyer charged with sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a woman was granted re­lease from cus­tody after ap­pear­ing in pro­vin­cial court in Stephenville Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Dur­ing Mon­day’s court ap­pear­ance, both the Crown pros­e­cu­tor and judge ap­peared via video­con­fer­ence from St. John’s to avoid any con­flict of in­ter­est with the lo­cal courts.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Vikas Kha­l­ad­kar asked that a pub­li­ca­tion ban put in place to pro­tect the iden­tity of the vic­tim be ex­tended to in­clude pro­hibit­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of the name of the ac­cused.

Judge James Walsh granted the re­quest, which was not ob­jected to by de­fence lawyer Robby Ash.

Kha­l­ad­kar was asked via email after the court ap­pear­ance why he had re­quested a pub­li­ca­tion ban that ex­tended to the ac­cused. He replied that it was done to pro­tect the com­plainant’s right to pri­vacy.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion filed with the courts, the 45-year-old man was ar­rested fol­low­ing a com­plaint of crim­i­nal ha­rass­ment for re­peat­edly com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the woman Satur­day.

The sex­ual as­sault is al­leged to have hap­pened June 12.

The man has five charges against him. It is also al­leged he ut­tered threats against the woman June 7 and also ut­tered a threat re­gard­ing an­other per­son to the woman some­time be­tween June 1 and June 30 of 2016.

The fifth charge in­volves an al­le­ga­tion of hav­ing as­saulted the woman on March 11 of this year.

The man was re­leased on two $5,000 bonds and the mat­ter will be called again July 25.

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