Saturday, September 26, 1998

Thomas Claridge
Courts Reporter, Toronto

p. A15.

Officer cleared of sex charges

Jury rejects story told by 16-year-old An Ontario Court jury deliberated only three hours yesterday before acquitting a Toronto policeman of charges alleging that he had required a teen-aged prostitute to perform oral sex as a means of avoiding arrest.

In the three-day trial, Constable Gregory Taylor faced charges of sexual assault, sexual exploitation and criminal breach of trust stemming from an alleged incident on Feb. 1, 1996.

As court was adjourned, the 46-year-old officer hugged his lawyers and accepted congratulations from family members and fellow officers who had awaited the verdict.

Outside the court, defence lawyer Steven Skurka said he and his client were "absolutely delighted with the verdict. It was the right verdict in this case and the only verdict."

The verdict represented a rejection of Crown attorney Howard Leibovich's contention that the complainant's testimony should be accepted over that of the police officer, who had given a "convoluted tale" which did not make sense.

In his closing submissions, Mr. Leibovich suggested that there was "a ring of truth" to the 16-year-old's story that she had been driven in the officer's cruiser to a darkened parking lot where, for fear of her life, she had performed fellatio on the uniformed officer.

In his summation, Mr. Skurka suggested that the complainant had concocted the story at the time of her arrest two weeks later when the arresting officer tried to learn the name of her pimp. He asked the jurors to accept his client's version of his contact with the complainant, that she had run off before he realized that there was a warrant out for her arrest.

The defence lawyer also contended that the complainant's recollection of the length of time she was with the officer -- 45 to 60 minutes -- did not mesh with records showing a computer check of her name and birth date was made 24 minutes before the officer returned to his station on Dundas Street.

The officer's defence also involved disclosure of the fact that a childhood accident had led to him having a deformed penis, which his present and former wife testified was very noticeable.

When asked at both the preliminary hearing and the trial to describe the penis, the complainant made no mention of any identifying feature beyond its length and breadth.

[Toronto '98] [News by region] [News by topic]

Created: October 5, 1998
Last modified: October 6, 1998

CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710