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Jian Ghomeshi Made A Brief Apology In Court And Will Not Face A Second Sexual Assault Trial

He signed a peace bond rather than face a second sexual assault trial.

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Jian Ghomeshi stood in a Toronto courtroom today and offered an apology to a former colleague for what he said was "sexually inappropriate" workplace behaviour. He then signed a peace bond that enables him to avoid a second trial for sexual assault.

At the beginning of the hearing, Crown prosecutor Michael Callaghan told the court that over the past month he and Ghomeshi's defense counsel, Marie Henein, negotiated a resolution that culminated in today's brief hearing. In the end, Ghomeshi made a brief verbal apology, submitted a letter from a therapist stating he has received treatment for the past 18 months and will continue to do so, and then signed a peace bond that prevents him from contacting the victim or possessing any weapons for one year. In return, the Crown withdrew the remaining sexual assault charge against the former CBC radio host.As a result of the resolution, the publication ban on the complainant's name was lifted. She was identified as Kathryn Borel, a former producer for Q. Her complaint, which was filed with the court, was that in 2008 at the CBC offices Ghomeshi came up from behind and proceeded to grind his pelvis into her buttocks for "several seconds." In her complaint, she said his behaviour created an "intolerable working climate" that led her to leave the CBC.Borel previously wrote about her experience working with Ghomeshi in which described multiple alleged incidents of harassment by him.Ghomeshi was recently acquitted of six charges of sexual assault in a different trial.
Mark Blinch / THE CANADIAN PRESS

At the beginning of the hearing, Crown prosecutor Michael Callaghan told the court that over the past month he and Ghomeshi's defense counsel, Marie Henein, negotiated a resolution that culminated in today's brief hearing.

In the end, Ghomeshi made a brief verbal apology, submitted a letter from a therapist stating he has received treatment for the past 18 months and will continue to do so, and then signed a peace bond that prevents him from contacting the victim or possessing any weapons for one year. In return, the Crown withdrew the remaining sexual assault charge against the former CBC radio host.

As a result of the resolution, the publication ban on the complainant's name was lifted. She was identified as Kathryn Borel, a former producer for Q. Her complaint, which was filed with the court, was that in 2008 at the CBC offices Ghomeshi came up from behind and proceeded to grind his pelvis into her buttocks for "several seconds." In her complaint, she said his behaviour created an "intolerable working climate" that led her to leave the CBC.

Borel previously wrote about her experience working with Ghomeshi in which described multiple alleged incidents of harassment by him.

Ghomeshi was recently acquitted of six charges of sexual assault in a different trial.

"I want to apologize to Ms. Borel for my behaviour to her in the workplace," Ghomeshi's apology began. "In the last 18 months, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on this incident and the difficulties I caused Ms. Borel, and I have had to come to terms with my own deep regret and embarrassment."

Ghomeshi said he "crossed boundaries inappropriately" and that the "incident was thoughtless and I was insensitive to her perspective and how demeaning my conduct was towards her."

He concluded by speaking about his experiences since the allegations from Borel were made public, and by offering an apology to his friends and family.

The past 18 months have been an education for me. I have reflected deeply and have been working hard to address the attitudes that led me, at the time, to think that this was acceptable.

I apologize to my family for letting them down and in particular for the impact that all of this has had on my dear mother and my sister. I apologize for the burden my actions have placed on those dear friends who have stood by me throughout this difficult time. I regret my behaviour at work with all of my hearty and I hope that I can find forgiveness from those for whom my actions took such a toll.

Borel read her own statement outside the courthouse after the hearing. "In a perfect world, people who commit sexual assault would be convicted for their crimes," she said. "Jian Ghomeshi is guilty of having done the things that I’ve outlined today."

She continued:

So when it was presented to me that the defence would be offering us an apology, I was prepared to forego the trial. It seemed like the clearest path to the truth. A trial would have maintained his lie, and would have further subjected me to the very same pattern of abuse that I am currently trying to stop."

Craig Silverman is a media editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.

Contact Craig Silverman at craig.silverman@buzzfeed.com.

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