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Ottawa Citizen - Personal support worker accused of sex assault has charges stayed

(2011-07-26)

By Andrew Seymour

Criminal charges against a personal support worker who spent more than two weeks in jail on allegations he sexually touched a patient have been stayed.

A Crown prosecutor told a judge there was no reasonable prospect of convicting Jean Adler Pierre last Thursday.

The 39-year-old complainant, who suffered from ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, has died and there was no way to corroborate his allegations, according to assistant Crown attorney Robert Wadden.

The man was a patient at the Bruyère Continuing Care's Saint-Vincent Hospital on Cambridge Street North when he alleged he was sexually assaulted by the 49-yearold Pierre last July.

Pierre's lawyer, Dominic Lamb, said his client was left "destitute, devastated and unemployable" as result of the charges.

"Mr. Pierre has always maintained his innocence. He is a hardworking person who did his job," Lamb said.

According to Lamb, the complainant alleged that Pierre had twice put a condom catheter on him but took too long, causing him to be aroused. The complainant alleged it took Pierre about five minutes to put on the catheter, an amount of time that was within the normal guidelines for the procedure, according to Lamb.

"His life has been forever changed by the allegations that were made against him, being detained for two weeks after being denied bail and forced into unemployment for the past year. All of this despite his having no previous criminal record and evidence that pointed clearly to his innocence," Lamb said.

"This case highlights, in no uncertain terms, the shortcomings of our bail system. A citizen with no previous criminal record can be detained by a justice of the peace, and even when finally released upon review of that order, only on the most onerous of terms," Lamb said.

Pierre was initially detained by a justice of the peace following a bail hearing. That decision was later overturned by a judge, who found the justice of the peace erred when he detained Pierre on tertiary grounds that his release would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

Both the justice of peace and the judge found that Pierre posed no serious danger to the public should he be released.



 

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