West coast lawyer charged with sex offence released from custody
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.