Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Appeal filed in controversial rape decision

  • Print

WINNIPEG — Manitoba justice officials have filed an appeal of a judge’s controversial decision to keep a convicted rapist out of jail while commenting on the actions and attire of the victim.

Documents were filed Wednesday seeking to overturn last month’s ruling by Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Dewar. No date for a hearing has been set.

At a sentencing hearing Feb. 18, Dewar suggested a victim's attire and flirtatious behaviour were partly to blame for the attack, which involved forced intercourse. The judge called the attacker, Kenneth Rhodes, a "clumsy Don Juan" and noted the victim wore a tube top, high heels and plenty of makeup. He gave Rhodes a conditional sentence - no jail time -- of two years, rejecting a Crown suggestion of at least three years behind bars.

The Crown is now alleging that Dewar erred in law by reducing the "moral culpability" of Rhodes based on his views of the victim.

The judge's remarks unleashed a firestorm of protest when they came to light in a Free Press story. Politicians of all stripes joined student and feminist groups and those who work with sexual assault victims in decrying the comments. Many said they feared Dewar’s remarks would deter other victims from coming forward in the future.

The Canadian Judicial Council, which has authority over more than 1,100 federally appointed judges, has received "several" complaints about Dewar’s handling of the case and has launched an investigation. In the meantime, Dewar has agreed not to preside over any cases "of a sexual nature", according to Chief Justice Glenn Joyal.

He was also replaced earlier this month on a manslaughter jury trial just days before it began.

More than 100 women and men held a noisy protest outside the downtown Law Courts building one week after the sentencing. They chanted "yes means yes and no means no," and waved signs sporting an array of messages including, "Clumsy, ignorant judge," and 'FYI, Dewar, this is the 21st century." Many who attended the demonstration called on the judge to apologize for his remarks and to resign.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Kenneth Rhodes Sentencing Transcript
Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

The Winnipeg Free Press is not accepting comments on this story for legal reasons.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: God Rest Ye Premier Selinger

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • KEN GIGLIOTTI  WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / July 23 2009 - 090723 - Bart Kives story - Harry Lazarenko Annual River Bank Tour - receding water from summer rains and erosion  damage by flood  and ice  during spring flooding -  Red River , Lyndale Dr. damage to tree roots , river bank damage  , high water marks after 2009 Flood - POY

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google