Yesterday, Canadian public broadcaster the CBC published the story of Isabelle Raycroft, Canada’s latest high-profile victim of intimate partner violence.
Here’s the tl;dr: the trial judge wrote a decision convicting Raycroft’s husband of four counts of assault against her, then got sick and couldn’t deliver the verdict. A replacement judge was appointed to read the verdict and determine the sentence. Before sentencing, a delegation of “old boys” from the rural Ontario community in which the Raycrofts reside appeared before the court to attest to the good character of the convict. Having heard this testimony (but not the evidence that was presented at trial), the replacement judge declared a mistrial. The devastated complainant decided that the public needed to know what she’d gone through. She went to court to have the publication ban on the case waived, and then she went to the CBC.
The story is frustrating, astonishing and riveting, and provides yet more evidence (as if it were needed) that when it comes to sexual violence, the law is an ass. Read it here.