Courts

New trial ordered for taxi driver acquitted of sexual assault

Appeal court finds trial judge in Bassam Al-Rawi case erred in law

Judge’s decision to acquit Al-Rawi of sexual assault was dismissed Wednesday by the Court of Appeal.   Trent Erickson

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial for Bassam Al-Rawi, a cab driver who was acquitted of sexually assaulting a passenger. 

The three-justice panel released their decision on Wednesday.

Al-Rawi was found not guilty in March 2017 when Judge Gregory Lenehan said there was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that the passenger did not give consent. In acquitting Al-Rawi, Lenehan said “clearly a drunk can consent.”

The appeal panel said Lenehan erred when he concluded there was no evidence of consent.

The Court of Appeal heard the case in November.