EVIDENCE - Witnesses – Credibility - Prior inconsistent statements

Law360 Canada (September 1, 2023, 6:46 AM EDT) -- Appeal by Murillo from conviction for sexual assault. Murillo allegedly sexually assaulted the complainant, a university student from China. The events occurred after a house party where the complainant and Murillo first met. They later went to a bar together and then to Murillo’s home. The complainant alleged that Murillo made sexual comments during their walk, and when they reached his home, she claimed he insisted she sleep in his bed. The complainant stated that she woke up to find Murillo on top of her, engaging in unwanted sexual acts. Murillo denied the allegations and provided a different version of events, suggesting consensual activities. The trial judge found Murillo’s evidence was contrived and not believable, particularly regarding the sexual incident. In contrast, the trial judge found the complainant’s evidence forthright, convincing, and credible. Based on the evidence accepted, the judge concluded that Murillo’s actions supported the complainant’s version of events, and he found him guilty of sexual assault. Murillo submitted among other things, that the judge erred in law by providing insufficient reasons in assessing the complainant’s credibility and relying on impermissible common-sense assumptions or stereotypes....
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