Can’t force men to prove con­sent

Toronto Star - - INSIGHT -

Re Would a lawyer in 2017 ad­vise a woman to re­port a rape?, Opinion, Sept. 13 Lawyer/ac­tivist Linda Sil­ver Dra­noff would have a court pre­sume that a man who has sex with a woman is a sex­ual preda­tor un­less proven oth­er­wise.

Dra­noff was dis­ap­pointed that Judge Marvin Zuker’s “en­light­ened con­vic­tion” of Mustafa Urur­yar for sex­ual as­sault on Mandi Gray was over­turned on ap­peal. That case il­lus­trates just how dif­fi­cult the is­sue of con­sent can get.

It would be great if our le­gal sys­tem could con­sis­tently con­vict men who com­mit sex­ual as­sault. But ef­fec­tively forc­ing a man to al­ways be ready to prove he had con­sent to sex is hardly re­al­is­tic. Even an en­tirely friv­o­lous claim could cre­ate a se­ri­ous risk of a jail term. Mirek A. Waraksa, Toronto Linda Sil­ver Dra­noff can­not be con­sid­ered a cred­i­ble com­men­ta­tor on the sub­ject of sex­ual as­sault in the courts.

Take the case of York Univer­sity stu­dent Mustafa Uru­yar. The le­gal com­mu­nity across Canada was shocked and very con­cerned about the ac­tions of Judge Marvin Zuker dur­ing the trial and af­ter the guilty ver­dict.

It was ob­vi­ous to an in­formed ob­server that the judge was very bi­ased in his ac­cep­tance of the plain­tiff’s ver­sion of events and his com­plete re­jec­tion of ev­i­dence of the ac­cused.

The On­tario Court of Ap­peal ex­am­ined the case and re­jected the ver­dict as in­com­pe­tent and or­dered a new trial.

This is a judg­ment that Linda Sil­ver Dra­noff de­scribes as “en­light­ened.” By her own words, she had rel­e­gated her­self to the ir­rel­e­vant fringe of this is­sue. Robert Grainger, Ottawa

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