Complaints dismissed against judge who said ‘Clearly, a drunk can consent’

Nova Scotia judge has complaints against him dismissed following a 2017 court case

An independent judicial review committee has dismissed complaints against a Nova Scotia judge who came under fire for saying in a sexual assault case that drunks can consent.

The Nova Scotia Judicial Council received hundreds of complaints about provincial court Judge Gregory Lenehan, most focusing on his comments during the trial of a Halifax taxi driver charged with sexually assaulting an intoxicated female passenger.

RELATED: Halifax taxi driver ‘an innocent man’ being pilloried in public, his lawyer says

Lenehan’s acquittal in the case — since overturned by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal — sparked public outrage when he concluded: “Clearly, a drunk can consent.”

A number of complainants alleged Lenehan’s comments were part of a troubling track record revealing a gender bias, such as when he asked a breastfeeding mother to leave his courtroom, and accused him of using misogynistic reasoning and reinforcing “rape culture” and “social biases.”

In a decision released today, the review committee says it found no evidence of impermissible reasoning or bias.

The committee says its role was not to determine whether he erred in law but rather whether he was guilty of judicial misconduct, which carries a high threshold to protect the independence of the judiciary.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chernove set to take on epic 1,000 kilometre cycling challenge

A local Paralympian is taking on an epic cycling challenge. Tristen Chernove… Continue reading

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Cranbrook RCMP looking for vehicle, driver involved in hit and run

RCMP are looking for the owner of a white Toyota Corolla that fled the scene

Cranbrook Cenotaph names get a touch-up

Legion members repaint 166 names, marking three wars, for the first time in monument’s history

BookNotes: The Australian prison colony’s first lending library

The books brought over by various officers proved quite popular with the convicts

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read