women’s rights activist and soon to be women’s rights lawyer
Not only is Jade a singer but she’s also a women’s rights activist and soon to be women’s rights lawyer, fighting for change in the area of a better and more fair social justice and legal system for women who are victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment in Canada.
Inspired by many women like; Gloria Allred, Meghan Markle, Lea Clermont Dion and Jennifer Lawrence, Jade aims to fight fearlessly for change. With years of experience representing herself in successful actions, where Hon. Justice A. O’Marra, told her during a hearing for her own sexual assault case, that she should consider becoming a lawyer, Jade is attending Lakehead Universities pre-law program in political science and women’s studies, followed a 3 year Juris Doctor of law school program, where she will not need to article and will be ready to be called to bar and start her own independent practice right away!
Inspired by her own barriers when she tried to report her sexual assault to the police and bring forward a private prosecution, she knew she was not alone and that the heartbreaking reality was that thousands of women just like her, face difficulty holding their perpetrators liable.
There are hardly any women's rights lawyers in Canada and after everything she had been through, she could not imagine other kind-hearted women going through the same. Not every woman is as strong as she is and sometimes just a judge accepting something and providing a judgment can help lift an abused woman's spirit and self esteem, but many women don't have the financial resources to hire a lawyer or strength to represent themselves.
After her story became public, she received many emails from women, who stated to have been sexually assaulted, where police did not charge the man and that they would be too afraid to represent themselves. Some women even stated that they didn't go to police because they feared they would not be believed just like Jade wasn't. As a result, Jade says she will take all her cases on a contingency or probono basis.
After a while, it became less about her, and more about making change for thousands of other Canadian women. Jade has made it her duty to fight for women’s rights when it comes to getting civil justice for sexual assault, sexual harassment and women accused with defamation against men. She already knows how she’s going to start each and every trial: “Why are we here today. It’s clear that this man has put this woman through tremendous abuse.”
Like Gloria Allred’s winning case where she had a mans defamation claim dismissed, because the judge stated that women should be able to write about their dishonest partners on the internet, without having to worry about a law suit, Jade plans to do what she can to reinstate women’s rights here in Canada. In Canada, women risk being criminally charged for posting their stories online. Even though, it’s not a criminal offense, Police officers often mistake it with criminal harassment.
In 2017, she tried to press charges through the police. When they chose not to press charges after 9 months of no investigation, she opened a private prosecution. The Ontario Crown Attorney’s prevented her case from going through, without any evidence being heard, claiming she had “credibility issues” despite the fact that she was very credible.
They blamed the fact that she had some unrelated false and minor harassment charges previously.
In Ontario, the Crown and the police hold the power as to whether or not to prosecute a crime. Sexual assault is one of the most violating offenses there is, which can leave women with long term emotional scars. The Crown has a lot of discretionary power, which can lead to abuse of process or error. Giving anyone too much discretion, is bound to lead to misuse and mistakes.
A stay should never be an option. Charges should always be placed when there is credible evidence to support a violent crime probably occurred, in which after the crown reviews the accused’s defense, then charges may be withdrawn, if the crown decides not to prosecute.
Staying a prosecution without any evidence being heard is a fault in the system, as consistent testimony when on the stand, is the main test for credibility in an adult witness, according to the law. Credibility of a victim is not to be assessed at that early stage either, that all comes later. A victim may not be completely happy with the outcome, but the justice system promises all citizens that they will be treated fairly, and have day in court, chance to present the evidence in a fair way to the court, with all evidence being heard, before a decision is made by the crown as seen here:
Generally, allegations of criminal activity are reported to the police. After the police investigate, they may lay criminal charges. However, anyone who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed an offence may lay an information in writing and under oath before a Justice of the Peace.
When the information is presented to the court by a private citizen, it is then referred to either a provincial court judge or a designated justice of the peace, who holds a special hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether a summons or warrant should be issued to compel the person to attend court and answer to the charge.
This hearing, held under s. 507.1 of the Criminal Code, takes place in private, without notice to the accused person. At the hearing, the judge or justice of the peace must hear and consider all of the allegations and available evidence.
The Crown must also receive a copy of the information, get notice of the hearing, and have an opportunity to attend. The Crown may attend at the hearing without being deemed to intervene in the proceedings.
If the judge or justice of the peace decides not to issue a summons or a warrant, then the information is deemed never to have been laid.
If the judge or justice of the peace issues a summons, the person will be served with a copy of the summons, which notifies them of the charge and compels them to attend court. If the judge or justice of the peace issues a warrant, the person will be arrested and brought before a justice.
To avoid any abuse of the private prosecution process, the Criminal Code and the Crown Attorneys Act authorize Crown Counsel to supervise privately laid charges to ensure that such prosecutions are in the best interest of the administration of justice. If a summons or warrant is issued and the case involves an indictable offence, the Crown is required to take over the prosecution. So, a private citizen's right to swear an information is always subject to the Crown's right to intervene and take over the prosecution.
If the Crown intervenes, the Crown will review the matter, as it does in every other criminal case, to determine whether there is a reasonable prospect of conviction and whether a prosecution is in the public interest. If so, the Crown will proceed with the prosecution. If not, the Crown is duty-bound to withdraw the charge.
In July 2018, Jade was successful in holding her perpetrator accountable in civil court, where she represented herself and was awarded $105,000. The judgment was set aside and will go to trial, since the perpetrator claimed he didn’t know he needed to file a defense, and in Ontario, they want to give everyone a day in court.
In October 2018, a full day hearing for Judicial Review was held for the Crown’s decision to stay her prosecution and it was a close call and a very good hearing as the judge seemed to agree with a lot of what Jade said, but it was dismissed. The Hon. Judge stated that it came down to not having an affidavit, sworn by Danny kayfetz to confirm and corroborate some of the facts, pertaining to wrongdoing by the crown, in the case.
A stay has never been overturned ever before in Canada, but the law states that it’s possible, it’s just a very high threshold because the crown is a huge entity and is allowed to broad prosecutor discretion and enjoy immunity from negligence actions. The only way a case can be won, is if a citizen can show flagrant misconduct. Jade was seeking a mandamus, ordering the crown to follow their statutory duties by allowing her a fair hearing.
Though the presiding judge stated that he "believed her honesty," he Judge dismissed the decision because he stated that the crown has "broad discretionary power, which should not be interfered with, unless there is overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing.” He further stated that; "other areas in ones life true or not, can make it difficult to secure a conviction, leading to no reasonable prospect of conviction in a he said/she said case."
Jade had submitted some evidence of wrongdoing in the form of emails, showing some negative influence, on her other cases, ever since the police neglected her sexual assault case. These emails were from her criminal lawyer to her; however, the judge stated that they were "inadmissible and that "without an affidavit from Danny Kayfetz, he could confirm wrongdoing by the crown."
Many lawyers asked for opinion have stated that it is "unfair and procedurally incorrect to stay a prosecution, before evidence is heard," since while citizens are not always going to get the result they want, one thing the Canadian Justice system promises citizens, is that they will be heard and get a day in court. (Marie Heinen, lawyer for Jiann Ghomeshi had said this in a video interview). This was something that I felt the presiding judge missed in this case.
Although Jade agree’s that there was no reasonable prospect of conviction, not because she was not telling the truth, but because at the time that she was raped, she had a lot going on in her life, caused by others which cluttered the perception of her character and may have made it difficult for a judge or jury to be sure beyond a reasonable doubt, and the crown is not a victims lawyer or advocate, so is not there to fight for the victim: she has decided to appeal the decision, with the evidence the fresh judge said was missing, because she believes that people who work in public positions always need to follow the rule book so that abuses of process does not work.
Although she was never convicted; in 2017, she plead guilty to criminal harassment after sending a prior boyfriend 13 non threatening texts, asking for an explanation after he blocked her on his phone. Her new lawyer; Daniel Kayfetz, moved to set aside the guilty plea, on the grounds of ineffectiveness of counsel, citing that the complainant gave her consent to text and that she was charged almost 25 days later, after doing nothing wrong. Transcripts from that hearing stated that the court was struggling to accept the plea, citing; "Anyone can send 13 texts and it wouldn't be criminal harassment.
After she reported her sexual assault to police, he went to police to report her for forgery, claiming she signed his signature on the reference letter. After forensic examinations, the court certified expert concluded that the hands of Jade did not sign the letter, and in fact concluded distinct similarities between the complainant's writing and the letter in question.
Lawyers had always told her that sexual assault has always been a difficult crime to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, even for women without charges. Jade think it's good that proof beyond a reasonable doubt exists as a safeguard, to prevent the innocent from being wrongfully convicted, but at the same time, some guilty people may be found innocent. A system can never be perfect.
There are laws currently in place which prevent the use of the accused's criminal history or sexual lifestyle, so that the accused is not prejudiced. In her case, the perpetrator had a history of violence and abuse towards women, according to the public record.
Jade’s advice to victims of sexual assault, without a lot of physical evidence or witnesses who saw the incident happen, would be to pursue a civil case. It will allow a victim to have their day in court, where a judge only has to decide on a balance of probabilities. This is a more accessible standard for crimes which often happen in private.
Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment is very present in today’s society, and unfortunately, due to a lot of stereotypes, they are the crimes least prosecuted. Rape culture is very prominent, and with the media and morality, going downhill, men feel more empowered than ever to act.
Men take advantage of the fact that these incidents are usually he said/she said cases and done in private, which makes it that much more difficult for women to get justice. For the sociopath, it is a perfect crime, where charm and a good presentation can often allow them to get off Scott free. Sociopaths are good talkers, and can be very charming, and likable.
Any man who engages in violent sex, would be considered a sadist, and no woman should have to ensure that kind of sex, which strays from the norm, against their will. According to mental health professionals, Sadism and BDSM, stems from mental illness and is normally associated with individuals of a sociopathic nature, with risky sexual lifestyles and limited morals.
Jade was not involved in that lifestyle, like her perpetrator was. He specifically found her on a traditional dating site and tried to lure her in. In growing up with parents who engaged in violence, violent sex was all the more traumatizing for her. Jade was able to have him banned from the traditional dating sites, so that he would return to his fetish sites. Other women came forward testifying violent physical and emotional abuse by the perpetrator, but none of the women went to police.
There have been many cases; Phillip Markoff, Ted Bundy, Matthew Winkler, where the person did not fit the profile the police thought. This was particularly evident in Jade’s case, as the perpetrator was a pathological liar, but able to get on the good sides of crowns, police and many women, who he did not like or respect, while he was with.
These types of men are master deceivers and they know how to talk their way out of issues and through life. A good example of his deceit was when he was able to convince the police and his work place that he did not know where nude/explicit photos of women came from, after he shared the photos from his own email address, without the women’s consent. He was able to get his work to think of him as the victim. His wife, whom he was separated from, and whom he hid their lifestyle from her family for many years, even sent an email to Jade to warn her that he was living another life, concerned if he was being honest with Jade.
Anyone who is victimized by sexual assault or sexual harassment should collect as much evidence as they can, and go to the hospital right away, even photographs of physical harm if possible will help and telling the doctor what happened. Sometimes women don't think logically when raped or in other such situations. It’s understandable that women who are sexually assaulted by someone they know, may not act immediately as it takes time to process the emotions and see someone as the perpetrator who was just someone they trusted, but it’s important to document things and decide later.
Jade’s case was perhaps even more traumatizing, due to the context in which it took place. Her perpetrator initially told her that his alternative lifestyle was in his past and that he agreed monogamy was better; however, it wasn’t, so not only was she scarred by the sexual violence he liked to perpetrate on women, but struggled emotionally with the lifestyle he lured into, which she knew nothing about prior, since she was traditional. Many women were misled and were engaged in unprotected sex with her perpetrator.
There are many positive changes being made in the system as though. Crowns have stopped the use of text messages sent before or after sexual assaults, from being entered as evidence, because often times women want to hold on or see their perpetrators again, to legitimize what happened; however, this does not minimize the low self esteem and mental health issues the abuse causes. Some women even stay with abusive partners for many years. According to some Ontario Crown’s, Women who are victims may think; “if he likes me, maybe he didn’t rape me.”
In Jade’s situation, she knew there were some texts and aspects about their relationship that may have been questionable or embarrassing, but with the help of her psychologists and explanations to abandonment, along with the sheer fact that she was telling the truth, she knew would overrule all else, so she reported anyway.
At the end of the day, the cause of her trauma was her perpetrator, not the crown. Although she hopes her perpetrator has changed, his lifestyle will probably lead to many more victims coming forward in the future. He will definitely need to be careful, as with Jade’s openness online, more women may be inclined to report.
The Police; however should have at charged him, then it would have deterred him from acting again or continuing his harm. There was no excuse. They only need to be satisfied that there is reasonable cause. If a judge can award damages, then that shows that there was reasonable cause, and highlights the changes that need to be made in the police force.
Jade believes women should overall forgo reporting to the police at all, unless there is solid physical evidence or witnesses who saw the assault happen. It can cause a lot of emotional trauma and stress to complainants when police neglect your case or when crowns stay the case.
There were a few issues by the crown, but this is what the public has to deal with, when it comes to absolute immunity. These reasons are the main points in her appeal:
The third crown; Richard Nathanson said he was always the crown in charge of the prosecution, but only sent the first crown; Sean Doyle, because he was unavailable (in transcript), however Jade had evidence that Sean Doyle was in charge at first, as he sent an email to Jade, stating that he would be transferring carriage to Christine Jenkins.
Sean Doyle also tried to stay the proceeding at the initial hearing, however, after her lawyer had a heated argument with him, adjourned it. It was later evident in the transcript that Richard Nathanson said that the first crown didn't know anything about sex assaults.
The crown claimed that her lawyer; George Gray, who represented her in half of the private prosecution, agreed to the stay without any evidence being heard; however, that was false. Her lawyer states that the crown would not allow any evidence to be heard and that he did not agree with the stay, but simply stated that the crown has jurisdiction.
The stay was done prematurely for political reasons. Many lawyers stated that the Crown does not have boundless discretionary power, but that no one ever goes against the crown, so nothing is ever done and as a result, crowns often break the rules. They stayed the prosecution so that there would be no evidence of any charges being laid against the perpetrator, not only to protect him, but the police, as well, who would have looked negligent, if the Judge or Justice of the peace issued the summons
At the end of the day, the crown has absolute immunity to negligence, mistake or minor wrong doings, so citizens have to abide by the decisions of crowns, unless they fight back. Only in cases where there is overwhelming evidence of flagrant wrong doing, can they be held liable, and in Canada, a stay has never been overturned, as judges don't usually interfere with the decisions of crowns. Jade was pretty close to representing herself in the first ever overturn of a stay.
Jade, like many victims, never actually cared if her perpetrator was convicted. She just did a private prosecution because that was what a lawyers told her to do when they police forgot about her case. Women just want some token redress their suffering. Some acknowledgement that what happened happened and often, they don’t care what form that closure it comes in.
This site will be updated after the appeal.*