Globe and Mail, Friday, Jul. 07 2006, Joe Friesen
Nicholas Charitsis, Toronto Defense Lawyer for the youth, who the Crown called the principal actor in the case, said his client is happy the episode is behind him and he’s moving on with his life.
The sexual assault case against 16 black teens that elicited cries of racism from some of their parents and tarred a school ended yesterday after one youth pleaded guilty and another admitted some responsibility for breaking his bail conditions.
One teenager, described by the Crown as the principal actor in the assaults at James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic High School last November, agreed to plead guilty to sexual assault in exchange for having three other charges dropped. The youth, who cannot be identified, will not serve jail time. He was given 45 days deferred custody in the community and two years probation, and his DNA will be kept in a police database.
The Crown Attorney said he’s satisfied with the outcome. He said he has spoken to the victim, a white, female Grade 11 student, and she’s pleased that the matter is over.
He said the guilty plea means she won’t have to go through the ordeal of testifying in court.
A second youth had his charges resolved yesterday by agreeing to complete a court-ordered program for young offenders. He was accused of breaching his bail conditions by carrying a knife.
Of the 16 accused, 14 boys and two girls, four were charged with sexual assault, 10 were charged with harassment, and two teenage girls were accused of threatening to kill the girl who raised the allegations.
Most agreed to court-ordered programs or signed peace bonds promising to maintain good behaviour. None attend McGuigan any longer.