I’m here today to talk to you about a topic that the clients asked me. We [defend] many people charged with sexual offense and they say, “Mr. Kruse, how can I win this matter? I’ve been accused of a very serious crime. I’ve been accused of rape, what do I do? How can I win this?” Our job is to create a reasonable doubt. We receive your complete version of events. We review the disclosure – that’s the the victim’s video statement –
the police reports and incurrence reports. In the context of your version versus the complainants, these cases are often winnable. We’re trying to find improbabilities, inconsistencies, breakdowns of logic with the complainant’s version of events and create that inconsistency in court and present your version of events in the best possible light. We prepare you to testify to create a reasonable doubt in advance of the trial, we need to uncover every fact, every stone, to create that reasonable doubt to show that the complainant is not credible. To show that they’re not reliable, that is, they’re not believable or they’re not accurate. They’re not necessarily the same thing. Sometimes a person can come across as credible or credibly but they’re not reliable. They’re not accurate. They had an interpretation of different events There’s certain defenses to these cases. There’s consent, there’s mistaken belief. In consent, there is “Look, I didn’t do it. I wasn’t there. I have an alibi. She’s making this up”. Our job is to create that reasonable doubt. When it comes down to trial the judge will say, “Look, the accused has testified. He’ll say this, he or she will say this in terms of reasonable doubt if I believe the evidence of the accused. I must acquit. Well, that’s a pretty high level test if I believe you might necessary necessarily believe the evidence of the accused. However, the second stage of this reasonable doubt test is called the WD test is, if I can’t even reject the evidence of the accused, am I left with a reasonable doubt? His or her version might reasonably be true. Now, we’re into the scales of justice. The burden of proof is on the crown. We can create that doubt at this stage. We can create a way to win the case onto the third stage – [and the judge may feel that] “even if I completely reject the evidence to the accused, I don’t believe him or her at all on all the other evidence. Am I satisfied beyond reasonable doubt?” That’s the weighing of the scales of justice all the way down. Even at this stage, it’s a heavy burden and we can often win a case at this stage even when the accused was not believed in advance to the trial. We need to prepare you. We need prepare applications. There’s Seaboyer applications, there’s third party records applications, Seaboyer – sometimes you’re allowed to introduce prior sexual activity by the way, that’s another video of mine that I’ve done on prior sexual activity, not an easy thing to to prove, but in some cases, for example, honest but reasonable mistaken belief in consent it is applicable. Third party records applications that’s another video you want to watch – that’s about counseling records psychiatric records, etc. These are all the things we need to uncover in advance of court. These are things we need to present at trial and the bottom line is if it’s a he said, she said case we can often win this these cases and in a good lawyer’s hands, you will invariably often win a case when it’s just simply one word against the other. Sometimes cases become more problematic for example, if there’s injuries and things like that but if there’s no confirming evidence, it’s just he said she said – in the hands of a good lawyer, you can create a reasonable doubt. This is how you win a sexual assault case. It’s our job to believe the client that the job a defense lawyer, client comes to me says “Mr. Kruse, I didn’t do it”. That’s my job: to passionately defend that person. The crown has a role. We all have a role in this and and ultimately under our justice system the burden is in your favor and that’s why you can often win a sexual assault charge.