SEG, a single middle-aged father in a small town, was the owner/operator of a well-established residential cleaning company. SEG’s company employed a number of female workers, most of whom were of foreign descent. SEG was well respected in the community and had absolutely no prior adverse involvement with the police – period.
While cleaning premises with several female employees, SEG was operating a central vacuum cleaner. SEG went to relocate the vacuum wall jack from one location to another. One of his workers happened to be standing in front of the vacuum wall jack so SEG placed his hands on her hips and moved her out of the way – no words spoken. As the vacuum had been running (and was quite loud) the female worker was initially startled.
SEG removed the vacuum hose from the wall and walked to another room where he continued to vacuum. The female who had been moved out of the way, immediately left the premises, proceeded down the street, entered a residence and complained that she had been sexually assaulted by SEG. As a consequence of the foregoing SEG was arrested by the RCMP and charged with sexual assault contrary to section 271 of the Criminal Code.
Patrick Fagan entered a plea of not guilty to the charge and scheduled the matter for trial. A full blown trial ensued and during the course of Patrick Fagan’s cross-examination of the “victim” it was established beyond any reasonable doubt that she lied under oath. Further cross-examination also revealed that notwithstanding the passage of several months of employment during which the complainant was in the company of SEG (even alone at work on various occasions) nothing of a sexually connotative nature ever transpired between them.
Despite full knowledge of the “victim’s” testimonial shortcomings the Crown aggressively pressed for a conviction relative to sexual assault or (in the alternative) common assault contrary to section 266 of the Criminal Code.
Bottom Line: The trial judge held that while SEG’s touching of the complainant’s hips was “ill-advised and not acceptable” to the complainant, it did not constitute criminal misconduct. SEG was found NOT guilty of all charges.
A copy of the reported decision (2016 ABPC 39) can be found and reviewed by clicking here.