Crown to Appeal Taxi Sex Assault Acquittal

Public Prosecution Service

March 7, 2017 12:33 PM

The Crown is appealing the March 1 sexual assault acquittal of Bassam Al Rawi, a Halifax taxi driver.

Mr. Al Rawi was charged with sexual assault stemming from a late-night, May 23, 2015, incident in his taxi involving a female passenger. Following a trial in Halifax Provincial Court, Judge Gregory Lenehan acquitted Mr. Al Rawi citing the Crown’s failure to prove the complainant’s lack of consent.

“We have conducted a legal analysis of the judge’s decision and have concluded there is a solid basis to appeal the ruling,” said Denise Smith, deputy director of public prosecutions.

The grounds of appeal are as follows:
-- the provincial court judge erred in law in holding the Crown had adduced no evidence of lack of consent on the part of the complainant
-- the provincial court judge erred in law by engaging in speculation on the issue of consent rather than drawing inferences from the facts proven in the evidence
-- the provincial court judge erred in law by failing to give proper legal effect to the facts found by him
-- the provincial court judge erred in law in his interpretation and application of the test for capacity to consent
-- the provincial court judge erred in law by failing to direct himself on the provisions of section 273.1 of the criminal code
-- the provincial court judge erred in law by failing to determine whether the accused had taken all reasonable steps to ascertain that the complainant was consenting
-- such other grounds of appeal as may appear from a review of the record under appeal.

A notice of appeal has been filed with the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

-30-

Media Contact: Chris Hansen
              902-424-2225
              Cell: 902-430-5529
              Email: Chris.hansen@novascotia.ca