Investigate Judge Letourneau for sexist ruling in sexual assault case

 
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goal: 31,000

Last week, news broke that an Ontario judge postponed punishment for Chance Macdonald — a man charged with sexual assault and confinement of a 16-year-old girl — so that it wouldn’t interfere with his internship. [1]

Macdonald eventually pled guilty to and was convicted of the lesser charge of common assault, meaning his sentence was watered down and he would only have to serve an 88 day sentence on weekends. The presiding judge, Allan Letourneau, delayed handing down the punishment so that MacDonald could complete an internship for school. [2]

Judge Letourneau, who went to the same university and played hockey like the defendant, appeared to sympathise with MacDonald, saying that he understood the “the mob mentality that can exist in that atmosphere” and trusted Macdonald “wouldn’t find himself in that situation again.”[3]

Judge Letourneau’s leniency on the defendant is unacceptable and represents a level of sexism that has no place in Canada’s courtrooms.

The Ontario Judicial Council has the power to investigate Judge Letourneau and if they find him to be worthy of removal, recommend that he be removed.

Will you send a message to the Ontario Judicial Council demanding they investigate Judge Letourneau?

1 out of 3 women in Canada experience sexual assault, but 90% of those assaults are never reported due to the stress and shame of navigating the criminal justice system. [4]

Judges like Letourneau are contributing to a ‘boys will be boys’ attitude that makes it difficult for victims of sexual assault to get justice.

Will you stand up for victims of sexual assault and demand Judge Letourneau be investigated?

This has worked before. Last year, federal judge Robin Camp verbally attacked a complainant in a rape trial and asked why she didn’t keep her legs together, later admitting he held “deeply sexist notions”. [5]

After public outcry, the Federal Judiciary Council made a unanimous recommendation to remove Camp from the bench, citing the irreparable harm done to the public confidence -- including to those who are victims of rape and sexual assault, who might now be even more reluctant to come forward after hearing Camp’s words. He was then removed.

If enough of us speak up, the Ontario Judicial Council will have to listen. Will you speak up and demand Letourneau be investigated?

Sources: 
[1] "‘I thought I was safe,’ victim in Kingston assault case says", The Star, September 5, 2017, https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/09/05/i-thought-i-was-safe-victim-in-kingston-assault-case-says.html

[2] [3] "Sentencing postponed for business student who assaulted girl, 16, so it wouldn't affect his internship", National Post, August 30, 2017 http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/sentencing-postponed-for-business-student-who-assaulted-girl-16-so-it-wouldnt-affect-his-internship
 
[4]"'Been raped never reported': Why 90% of sex assault victims stay silent rather than face trial by ordeal", National Post, November 18. 2014, 
http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/been-raped-never-reported-why-90-of-sex-assault-victims-stay-silent-rather-than-face-trial-by-ordeal
 
[5]" ‘Knees together’ judge one step closer to being kicked off bench", Globe and Mail, November 30,2016
https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/committee-recommends-removal-of-judge-robin-camp/article33099722/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

Sign the petition to the Ontario Judiciary Council:

Please investigate Judge Letourneau for his unacceptable handling of this sexual assault case.

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