Judging Ottawa Women - Macleans.ca

Judging Ottawa Women


Ottawa’s Judge Robert Fournier dismisses a defendant’s claim that he did not notice the attractiveness of  the woman he was accused of groping:

If 50 men, self-respecting, objective men, men who respect women, were to view (the woman), however briefly, they would conclude that she meets the standard of an attractive woman, at least in the city of Ottawa”

(Thx to Laura Drake)

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Judging Ottawa Women

  1. I've always noted that Ottawa has a disproportionately large number of fair ladies relative to its population size.

    • Get outtta here with your flatteren ways, you smoothtalking devil!

  2. What’s more incredible is that the *victim* didn’t get up while the bed she *lay* on was *stripped* and changed! But then again she has some strange ideas about foreign trained doctors, Elsewhere in today’s Sun we read that that fish grew *legs* earlier than *thought*. I think there’s a lesson there for the Judge…

  3. I lived in Ottawa – I have to agree that standards differ wildly from city to city.

  4. It depends if the women were on BeautifulPeople.com

  5. A 10 in Ottawa is an 8.2 in Toronto, a 7 in Vancouver, and a 12 in Calgary.

    • … and a 5.5 in Montreal.

    • Ah yes, but in reverse, if "wholesomeness" is the sole determinant of beauty.

    • First of all, how dare you rank women on the basis of your subjective chauvanisitic views, that our phallo-centric society has only encouraged?

      And secondly, how dare you rank Calgary's ho's below Vancouver and Toronto's? Cowtown is hawtt, let's buy some shottss.

    • Yes but what matters in a city is the ratio of the hotness of the average man to the hotness of the average woman. Dating and mating is a market driven by relative scarcity. If there are more hot women than hot men, then it is a good place to be a man. There is a reason Prague is a popular tourist destination, and a reason that, after Katrina, New Orleans was a great place to score (lots of burly rescue workers, few women).

  6. Forgive me. Sure, it's all fun and games to take a cheap shot at Ottawa and its ladies, but: Where does the attractiveness of the alleged victim enter AT ALL into the judicial evaluation of the alleged sexual assault? How does that enter into the defendant's defence, and why is it material to believe or disbelieve the defendant on this point?

    I don't care if she was Fiona as Ogre or Fiona as Fair Princess. Either can be a victim of non-consensual sexual touching.

    • Hear hear. But I understood from the article that the judge was mentioning it merely as a striking example of how the defendant was not answering honestly (which is certainly germane). Still, the bit about "at least in the city of Ottawa" is an unwelcome bit of levity in remarks on a very serious case.

      • It's more than unwelcome. It's unacceptable. It says "If she was ugly I would be prepared to believe you couldn't have groped her." And that is abominable. The Ottawa crack just compounds the abomination.

        • Quite right.

          I seem to recall a few other cases in which a judge's taking the victim's physical characteristics into consideration led to a severe reprimand of said judge by the judicial review board vel sim.. This is, after all, the kind of case that often goes unreported because the victim dreads becoming the object of public prurience. From the linked story, the victim in this case is a model of fearlessness, but it's appalling to have the judge chuckling.

          • And to carry my outrage at this judge a step further. It also says: "Since she is a sultry hot twelve out of ten, you are obviously guilty, because, hell, who wouldn't want to feel her up…"

            Unattractive victims do not deserve the dismissive approach to their complaints. Defendants do not deserve a presumption of guilt because the complainant is attractive. The judge has, with a not-at-all funny Ottawa crack, acknowledged that he is prepared to permit both of these disgusting concepts into his courtroom.

            Reprimand, indeed.

          • You are flying off the handle for the wrong reasons. Jack identified it properly early on. The issue was one of credibility. Where the judged erred was making a statement about something that is subjective (and politically incorrect, but that is a separate issue) – ie based upon his opinion, which is not factually based.

            I think you are conflating issues with the more serious one a few years back, where an Alberta judge, John McClung suggested a victim wasn't exactly wearing a "bonnet and crinolines". Here he was implying that she brought on or contributed to her sexual assault due to the manner in which she was dressed. I don't think the cases are comparable on that basis, which you appear to be doing.

          • You have it backwards. In this situation the attractiveness of the victim increased the likelihood (in the judge's mind) that a crime was committed; it was not any mitigating factor that she might have "brought it on herself."

            I fully recognize the judge was playing with credibility here. But it is repugnant to even have the discussion of the victim's ability to arouse the defendant. At all. Think a bit. If the victim was homely, at least to the judge, does this mean the judge should find the defendant credible and point the needle towards not-guilty? That is pathetic.

          • In this situation the attractiveness of the victim increased the likelihood (in the judge's mind) that a crime was committed;

            Well, even though your name is "madeyoulook", you are no expert on this case.

            My statement is based upon the preceding lines in the story, immediately before the paragraph AP quoted:

            Testifying through an Ethiopian-dialect interpreter, Tesso denied doing anything but his job and said he didn't even remember the woman until confronted by hospital officials.

            He refused to agree with prosecutor Paul Attia that the woman was attractive, insisting he only found his wife beautiful.

            Fournier scoffed at that.

            Context is everything.

          • Thanks for the context, Dot, but this makes the judge's phrasing even worse, compounding the error of the prosecutor bringing up the attractiveness of a complainant the defendant claims not to even remember.

          • Again, the prosecutor was not wrong in asking the accused if he found the alleged victim attractive. The judge was wrong in making statements that were not based upon expert opinion before him, but rather basing it upon his own opinion (irrespective of the issue).

            How you can then extrapolate his comments further, as you have, is beyond me.

          • One thing to keep in mind is that in a criminal trial, the accused cannot be forced to take the stand. The fact that this exchange occured during cross examination suggests the case against him was strong enough for his lawyer to advise his client to testify. Obviously the accuser had previously testified and must have appeared to all parties to have been credible (combined with the lineup identification) to warrant his trip to the stand.

          • Turn it around. If the judge also happens to find the complainant unattractive, does the defendant become more credible? That's repugnant. Which makes this entire line of thought repugnant.

          • Oh, give it up will you?

            The complainant testified that

            She knew she'd been right all along when he put his hand in her shirt, touched her breasts and called her “very beautiful.”

            So, to test the credibility of the defendant (afterall this boils down to a he said/she said) the natural q would be to ask the defendent if he thought the complainant was beautiful.

            Did they not teach you introductory law at Montreal U, engineering?

          • Did you not remember what you copy-and-pasted, that the dude testified that he didn't even remember the complainant?

          • Yes, it all goes to credibility. I expect that cross examination took some time and covered many areas beyond what was reported, and I expect his story was completely different to hers. If you are suggesting that by replying that he didn't even remember her (in which he may have been perjuring himself) that the prosecutor should have retired his line of questioning, why not simply do the same thing when he pleaded "not guilty"?

            (and not even remembering her seems completely at odds with her testimony that he was there 5 times, brushing against her, bringing her a blanket etc.)

  7. Once, in Calgary, a stranger tapped my …behind… So I say the men there are at least 10’s – presuming we use a scale from 5.5 to 12 – cause they know how to show their love.