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Full transcript of controversial rape sentencing hearing published

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/3/2011 (2357 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

WINNIPEG - Three times that night, she rebuffed his sexual advances.

She told him she was in pain; she asked if he was going to kill her.

Manitoba Justice Robert Dewar gave a convicted rapist a two-year conditional sentence.


Manitoba Justice Robert Dewar gave a convicted rapist a two-year conditional sentence.

"It will only hurt for a little while," he said.

These moments, revealed in the full transcript of the sentencing hearing against convicted rapist Kenneth Rhodes, defined the "bizarre" sexual aggression that, Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Dewar said, "had the characteristics of a clumsy Don Juan."

The Free Press is making public the full transcript of the Feb. 18 hearing, which sparked a storm of outrage across Canada when Dewar's comments were made public late last month; comments that are now the subject of a Canadian Judicial Council investigation.

Although it would be impossible to publish the entire 88-page document in the paper, the Free Press felt it was in the public interest to publish the transcript in its entirety.

"Many people have made judgments based on headlines, or on quotes that may or may not have been taken out of context," said Free Press editor Margo Goodhand.

"We thought it was important to publish exactly what transpired in the courtroom that day, unedited and for the public record."

The transcript recorded lawyers tussling over Rhodes’ fate.

Crown attorneys cited case law and the victim’s impact statement to argue for Rhodes’ incarceration, while Rhodes’ defence lawyer argued that his client had been under a different understanding than the victim was.

Rhodes even tried to be helpful when he gathered up her clothes after she fled, half-naked, into the bush.

In parts of the decision making not previously published by the Free Press, Dewar dismissed some of the case examples brought forth by the Crown, in which the victims were unconscious during the attack.

In this case, Dewar said, "there was some invitation, however involuntary."

The judge then added that he wasn’t criticizing the victim.

"She was a frightened young woman all alone in the presence of a large, perhaps loud, overbearing older man," Dewar said.

Read the full transcript of the sentencing below.


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Updated on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 5:02 PM CST: Matches text with print version.

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