Several media outlets are reporting that a second sexual assault trial against disgraced Canadian radio star Jian Ghomeshi won’t proceed. Citing sources close to the case, they all say that the charges against Ghomeshi will be formally dropped Wednesday. The new case was centered around an assault that allegedly took place in the CBC offices in 2008.
Ghomeshi was acquitted on sexual assault and choking charges this March, following a disastrous trial in which his defense managed to seriously damage the perceived credibility of all three women testifying against him. Now, CBC (a different division than the one he worked for) reports that the charges from the alleged 2008 incident will be dropped and the second trial, which was slated to begin June 6, won’t proceed.
Instead, they claim, Ghomeshi will instead simply be required to sign a peace bond, essentially a promise to stay out of trouble. In this case, they report, he will also be required to stay away from the CBC employee he is accused of assaulting. A peace bond doesn’t constitute an admission of guilt or wrongdoing on Ghomeshi’s part.
The National Post reported in March that the second trial was going to be “very different” from the first. In part, that’s because the assault allegedly happened in the CBC Radio offices, where there may have been witnesses who could have, at the very least, testified to Ghomeshi’s behavior towards the woman. There was also an internal CBC investigation, the records of which would likely have been made public as part of the trial.
The actress Lucy DeCoutere, the only one of Ghomeshi’s accusers from the first trial to publicize her name, reacted to the news with sadness and resignation, and an announcement that she plans to be in a quiet, peaceful, safe place when the news officially breaks.
Ghomeshi will reportedly apologize after he signs the peace bond, although it’s tough to see how he might do that without admitting guilt.
Update, 10:25 a.m.:
Reporter Sarah Boesveld tweeted a photo of the full text of Ghomeshi’s apology. He apologizes for having “crossed boundaries inappropriately” and taking a “sexualized tone” in the workplace.
“The past 18 months have been an education for me,” he adds. We bet.
Kathryn Borel, the woman Ghomeshi was accused of assaulting, published a piece in the Guardian in 2014 detailing his behavior. She is reportedly set to make a public statement this morning regarding the criminal charges being dropped.
Screenshot via CTV