Limits on questions of sexual history during trial questioned


An Ottawa defence lawyer said he supports Canada’s rape shield law, but is still troubled by a Supreme Court ruling Wednesday that upheld it and convicted an Ontario man.

The law prevents victims from being asked about their sexual history during a trial.

The case in front of the court involved a man known as R.V. who was convicted of assaulting a 15-year-old girl.

As part of the case the Crown introduced evidence the girl had become pregnant after the assault, but the defence had been prevented from asking the girl if she had any other partners.

Defence lawyer Michael Spratt said the court’s ruling is hard to understand because it found that the defence should have been able to ask about the issue — but that those answers wouldn’t have affected the trial.

“The Supreme Court has predetermined a result, said things could not have possibly been different, even though those questions were never asked,” he said.

He said cross-examination is an essential part of the law.

Read the full article: CBC News