The Crown is appealing the March 1 sexual assault acquittal of Bassam Al Rawi, a Halifax taxi driver.
Mr. Al Rawi was charged with sexual assault stemming from a late-night, May 23, 2015, incident in his taxi involving a female passenger. Following a trial in Halifax Provincial Court, Judge Gregory Lenehan acquitted Mr. Al Rawi citing the Crown’s failure to prove the complainant’s lack of consent.
“We have conducted a legal analysis of the judge’s decision and have concluded there is a solid basis to appeal the ruling,” said Denise Smith, deputy director of public prosecutions.
The grounds of appeal are as follows:
— the provincial court judge erred in law in holding the Crown had adduced no evidence of lack of consent on the part of the complainant
— the provincial court judge erred in law by engaging in speculation on the issue of consent rather than drawing inferences from the facts proven in the evidence
— the provincial court judge erred in law by failing to give proper legal effect to the facts found by him
— the provincial court judge erred in law in his interpretation and application of the test for capacity to consent
— the provincial court judge erred in law by failing to direct himself on the provisions of section 273.1 of the criminal code
— the provincial court judge erred in law by failing to determine whether the accused had taken all reasonable steps to ascertain that the complainant was consenting
— such other grounds of appeal as may appear from a review of the record under appeal.
A notice of appeal has been filed with the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.