Thaddeus Baklinski

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Canada court: Consensual sex = sex assault, if you tamper with the condom

Thaddeus Baklinski
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HALIFAX, September 29, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruled on September 28 that a man who poked holes in his girlfriend’s condoms in order to impregnate her in hopes of saving their relationship is guilty of sexual assault.

The woman, unnamed by court order, did become pregnant but subsequently had an abortion that resulted in her suffering a uterine infection that required medical treatment.

Although Craig Jaret Hutchinson, 41, of Clyde River had originally been charged with aggravated sexual assault, Justice Richard Coughlan found him guilty of the lesser charge of sexual assault because the man’s actions did not endanger the woman’s life.

“There was no voluntary agreement by (the woman) to the sexual activity in question, which was sexual intercourse without contraception,” said Coughlan.

“He knew she didn’t consent to sexual intercourse without contraception.”

Gwen Landolt, national vice-president of REAL Women, said the ruling signals a radical separation of “sexuality from its purpose, which is to have children.”

“There are women who engage in sexual relations who want a child, and the man doesn’t.  She becomes pregnant, doesn’t use her pill,” she noted.  “If this were reversed, then she would be at fault.  But it seems to be all one-sided here.”

Landolt added that the greatest crime in this whole situation was the murder of the child through abortion, which is “the worst outcome possible.”

The court heard that Hutchinson thought he could save his relationship with his girlfriend if she became pregnant, so he used a pin to poke holes in all of her condoms.

When he told her what he had done, the woman called the police and had him charged.

At the trial the Crown prosecutor alleged Hutchinson endangered his girlfriend’s life by sabotaging her condoms.

However, Justice Coughlan said the Crown failed to prove that the woman’s pregnancy was a result of having sex with damaged condoms and inferred that pregnancy is not life-threatening.

“Considering the evidence, it has not been established that Mr. Hutchinson’s actions exposed (the woman) to a significant risk to her life,” Coughlan said according to a Chronicle Herald report. “The Crown has not shown that Mr. Hutchinson’s actions endangered (her) life.”

This is the second time Hutchinson has been tried on the charges. Supreme Court Judge Gerald Moir ruled in 2009 that although Hutchinson’s actions were fraudulent and “dastardly,” they did not constitute sexual assault and found Hutchinson not guilty.

That decision was overturned by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, which ordered a new trial on the basis that the woman had not consented to unprotected sex.

“There was some evidence upon which a finding of endangerment or bodily harm could be based,” the appeal court judges wrote.

Hutchinson is scheduled for sentencing by the Supreme Court on Dec. 2.

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