Man found not guilty of raping wife as he believed he could have sex with her when he liked

Decision found court failed to establish the defendant knew his behaviour was criminal

Lydia Smith
Saturday 21 October 2017 15:57
A court in Ottawa found the man not guilty of sexual assault
A court in Ottawa found the man not guilty of sexual assault

An Ottawa man has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting his wife because he believed he had the right to have sex with her whenever he felt like it.

The decision, issued this week, found the court had failed to establish the man knew his behaviour was criminal.

“I find that the accused probably had sex with his wife on many occasions without her specific consent, as both he and she believed that he had the right to do so,” Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith said.

The woman, a Palestinian who grew up in Kuwait before moving to Canada, said that during their arranged marriage, she believed it was her obligation to have sex with her husband.

Although she did not always consent, the couple both believed it was the husband’s right, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

The couple separated in 2013 and after speaking to a police officer about a dispute over child arrangements, the woman came to understand she had the right to refuse sex with her husband.

She subsequently told the police that in 2002, her husband pulled grabbed her by the wrists, pulled her to the sofa and had sex with her even though she asked him to stop three times.

The husband denied ever having sexual relations with his wife without her consent and specifically denied the incident that led to the charges.

He testified that the alleged incident could not have taken place, as he had undergone a hair transplant and had been told by his doctor to refrain from sex at that time.

The judge said the man was evasive as a witness and rejected his account as not believable.

“The accused did not call any medical evidence to show this was standard medical practice,” Justice Smith said, “and I find his evidence in this regard does not accord with common sense to a reasonably informed person.”

Despite this, the judge found the man not guilty of a crime.

“Marriage is not a shield for sexual assault. However, the issue in this trial is whether, considering the whole of the evidence, the Crown has proven the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt,” he wrote in his decision.

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