City: Oshawa, Ontario
Our Client: Ms. V.
Complainant: Mr. G.
Lawyer: Carlos Da Cruz
Date of Acquittal: September 11, 2012
Background: A week before Christmas, Ms. V. and her boyfriend Mr. G. returned to his home after an office party, accompanied by some friends. It was three in the morning and everybody had been drinking. Both Ms. V. and Mr. G. had in the past cheated on each other, but both had, each time, forgiven the other. On this night, Mr. G., looking in Ms. V.’s phone, found that the name of the man she had cheated on him with, was still in her contacts. Accusations flew and tempers flared. The friends tried unsuccessfully to intervene. Mr. G. called the police and told them that Ms. V. had punched him in the face several times and kicked him in the groin. He had sustained a small cut to his lip but did not need medical attention. When the police came to arrest Ms. V. at her home she told them that Mr. G. had gone through her phone and noticed that the man she had cheated with was still in her contacts. Mr. G. confronted her in the bathroom. He was very upset, yelling at her and kicking bathroom cupboards. They exited the bathroom and continued to argue. Ms. V. admitted that she slapped Mr. G. across his face because he called her a bad mother. At trial she would testify that Mr. G. destroyed her property, including pictures made by her young daughter, tore the necklace off her neck, spit on her and taunted her to hit him.
Goal: To avoid a criminal conviction. Ms. V. was in college studying to become a law clerk and she coached her daughter’s sports team. She had a lot to lose. With a criminal record she would lose both a career and the ability to coach children’s sport teams.
Strategy: This case would turn on the testimony of the witnesses, particularly the testimony of the complainant Mr. G. versus the testimony of Ms. V. It would be a classic “he-said-she-said” situation. We would have to tell Ms. V.’s story convincingly, and through cross-examination and submissions, cast doubt on Mr. G.’s credibility and his version of the events.
Verdict: In a stunning turn of events, the judge found that, it was Mr. G. rather than Ms. V. who should have been charged with assault and that he should have been charged with mischief and forcible confinement as well. Ms. V. was acquitted.