EVIDENCE - Admissibility - Prejudicial evidence - Confessions and statements by the police - Voluntariness

Law360 Canada (June 10, 2022, 5:46 AM EDT) -- Appeal by SC from conviction for sexual assault. The complainant alleged the appellant sexually assaulted her when they were socializing at his house. The appellant denied the allegation. The day prior to the commencement of the trial, defence counsel advised the Crown that SC would waive the need for a voir dire with respect to the voluntariness of a statement he made to the police when he was arrested. The Crown used the statement during cross-examination of SC. The trial judge was not told of the waiver of voluntariness until after cross-examination was concluded. SC testified that he was not functioning properly when he gave the statement and that he did not realize what he was doing. He did not tell the police that he had an epileptic seizure. He testified he thought he had to give a statement or he would be held for 48 hours. He wanted to go home to bed. The trial judge concluded the complainant’s evidence was credible and believable. He found SC’s evidence incapable of belief, relying in part on SC’s police statement to assess his credibility....
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