Friday, October 23rd | 5 Heshvan 5781

November 20, 2017 2:45 pm

Ontario Prosecutors Fail to Appeal Marital Sexual Assault Case

avatar by Scott Newark


The cover of a Koran. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The deadline for Canadian prosecutors to appeal a judge’s decision to acquit a Muslim man of sexually assaulting his wife has passed. It appears that the ruling — that cultural and religious beliefs meant that the man could have sex with his wife, even when she was not willing — will stand.

The now-divorced couple has not been identified. But Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith acquitted the Palestinian-Muslim husband, saying that he “probably had sex with his wife on many occasions without her specific consent,” but that both believed their faith gave him that right, “as both he and she believed that he had the right to do so.”

As we reported last week, Canadian law expressly requires actual consent or sext, including from spouses, and specifies that not knowing the law is not a defense to breaking it.

Canadian law gave the Ottawa Attorney General one month to appeal the initial decision. There was little, to no public debate about the case, and no sign an appeal was filed.

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This failure to act is alarming, and means that Ontario’s government accepts a ruling that undermines the protections afforded by Canadian law to people vulnerable to sexual assault, It also allows ‘cultural’ beliefs to supersede secular law. How is that acceptable in Canadian society?

The silence from Canadian opposition parties, both provincial or federal, or our self-described ‘feminist’ national government, is also disappointing. Why were they silent?

These are questions that need to be asked and answered if the rule of secular law in Canada is to be preserved and protected.

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