Thursday, November 27, 2014

Arrested Jian Ghomeshi released on $100K bail but must live with his mother

Jian Ghomeshi makes his way through a mob of media with his lawyer Marie Henein (right) at a Toronto court Wednesday, November 26, 2014. The Canadian Press

 | Metro
Jian Ghomeshi said just two words in public Wednesday, telling the court he understands the conditions of his bail.
“I do,” he said in a courtroom at College Park.

He will not spend a night in jail, he will refrain from communicating with his alleged victims and he will live with his mother, who has put up a $100,000 bond.

Ghomeshi surrendered himself to the police Wednesday morning, and he was arrested and charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking, based on the allegations of three women.

He was out on bail hours later.

Ghomeshi did not address the media gathered outside court. He walked in silence, keeping his head down as Toronto police acted as his bodyguards, guiding him through a crowd of reporters and dozens of onlookers outside College Park.

His lawyer, Marie Henein, said he will be pleading not guilty and he will not be speaking to the media, as cameras rolled and smartphones flashed.

“It is not my practice to litigate my cases in the media. This one will be no different. We will say whatever we have to say in a court of law,” Henein said.

Ghomeshi heard the details of the charges against him in court. He looked tired but polished and wore a black suit and white shirt.

The Crown’s evidence given at the bail hearing is subject to a publication ban until it is revealed at trial.

Two of the three alleged victims have asked that their identities continue to be withheld. Actress Lucy DeCoutere did not make the same request after already having gone public with her story.

She issued a statement after news of Ghomeshi’s arrest broke:

“The past month has seen a major shift in the conversation about violence against women. It has been an overwhelming and painful time for many people, including myself, but also very inspiring. I hope that victims’ voices continue to be heard and that this is the start of a change that is so desperately needed,” she said.

The Toronto Police Service began an investigation into the allegations shortly after they first appeared in the media in October.

Insp. Joanna Beaven-Desjardins, head of the sex-crimes unit, said police approached news outlets they believed knew the identities of women who were making allegations against Ghomeshi, and they asked those media outlets to pass on police contacts to those women.

Beaven-Desjardins had urged the women to come forward, providing them the option to speak with police, whether or not they were prepared to make a formal complaint.

DeCoutere said the process made her feel “heard and validated.”

“The police I dealt with were warm and sympathetic,” DeCoutere said at the time.

Police continue to ask any victims to come forward.

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