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Ontario students charged with sexual assault, plead not guilty

Four Ontario males pleaded not guilty in court recently to allegedly attacking a female. The males were all in their teens at the time of the apparent sexual assault in 2016 as was the purported victim, who they all knew. The woman's sobriety has recently come under question, but a forensic toxicologist out of Toronto said the woman's urine and blood samples taken the day after show no evidence of alcohol.

But when cross-examined, the toxicologist admitted he did not interview the woman or any potential witnesses to the woman's behaviour on the night of the alleged attack. However, the then 18-year-old allegedly told health care professionals she had been drinking vodka the evening prior. The toxicologist used a mathematical equation to try to ascertain what her blood alcohol level might have been, but said those calculations were based on what information he had to work with. Based on that, he said the woman would have fit the description of being legally impaired.

The toxicologist also said alcohol reacts differently on different people depending upon their tolerance levels, but does not make drinkers impulsive. Rather, it impairs cognition, which controls behaviours considered normal. A Niagara Regional Police release issued shortly after the alleged incident occurred stated the woman was at a party. She apparently left with a group of males to another location where she said she was sexually assaulted. 

In instances where people in Ontario have been charged with sexual assault, legal counsel will try to mount the best defense possible after carefully examining the evidence. In this case, the lawyer may try to argue consent, depending upon the pleas of those accused. Not only are the reputations of those accused on the line, but convictions would result in criminal records that could follow them the rest of their lives.

  

Source: niagarafallsreview.ca, "Students plead not guilty to sexual assault", Jan. 8, 2018

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