Thursday, December 18, 2008

Guilty verdict in paratransit rape trial

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - According to the Edmonton Sun, Lyes Kiared, an Edmonton paratransit driver, was found guilty yesterday of sexually assaulting a 40-year-old female passenger who has a physical and developmental disability. He was found not guilty of a second charge of sexual exploitation. Here is an excerpt:

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Stephen Hillier yesterday found Lyes Kiared, 41, guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm after rejecting his testimony as "incredible" and "unbelievable" and simply lacking "any credibility."

Kiared was found not guilty of a second charge of sexual exploitation when the judge ruled he was not in a position of trust due to having only met the victim once before and the attack not happening while she was a passenger.

"Thus, while the accused's acts can rightly be viewed as despicably exploitative of a disabled victim, in my view, the existence of a position of trust in this case has not been established," said Hillier.

As noted in an earlier FRIDA post, the woman testified that Kiared went to her home and sexually assaulted her three days after meeting her for the first time as a passenger in his taxi. A sentencing hearing date will be set on January 30.

The story in full is here. For earlier reports, see here, here and here.