Why Rob Ford should be charged with sexual assault (if what Sarah Thomson says is true) - Macleans.ca

Why Rob Ford should be charged with sexual assault (if what Sarah Thomson says is true)

Anne Kingston considers how the kangaroo court of social media has diminished the seriousness of the allegations


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves a courtroom on Jan. 7, 2013. (Chris Young/CP)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been publicly accused of many of the Seven Deadly Sins, but until last night Lust never figured among them. That’s when Sarah Thompson, publisher of Women’s Post and former mayoral candidate in the 2010 election, took to social media to accuse Ford of unwelcome come-ons and then sexually assaulting her at a public event. In a Facebook post, Thomson intimated Ford grabbed her behind while a photo was being taken, one that shows her smiling broadly and the mayor looking totally out of it. (Making the media rounds today here,  here, and here, Thomson was more explicit, saying the mayor “grabbed my ass.”)  In a statement, Ford blasted the allegations as “completely false.” He called Thomson a liar who put a damper on International Women’s Day: “What is more surprising is that a woman who has aspired to be a civic leader would cry wolf on a day where we should be celebrating women across the globe.”

Now we’re mired in the he said-she dynamic said that often underlines accusations of sexual assault, a fluid term under the Criminal Code that includes everything from unwanted touching to rape. The sort of “touchy-feely” assault Thomson accused Ford of is a fact of life for many women (and men), so routine it’s brushed off, not regarded as the criminal offence it is.  (Tellingly, by noon, the controversy was jokingly dismissed as “Assgrabgate.”) Thomson says she has no plans to press charges; she just wants an apology from Ford and to “move on.” She believes using the kangaroo court of social media to air her allegations is adequate remedy: “If I sweep under the carpet, I’m not doing what I should as a woman leader in Toronto,” she said.

Thomson’s utterances over the day revealed the spectrum of contradictory attitudes about sexual assault. On one hand, she seems sympathetic to Ford, noting he already “had enough lawsuits” (maybe she was worried hers would get lost in the pile). She explained she also didn’t want to lay charges  because, as the chair of the Transit Alliance, she has “to work with him” (her venting on Facebook and today’s media whirlwind might also put a crimp in that). She acknowledged the behaviour was out of character, noting Ford was always “a professional” and “very courteous.” She even attempted to diagnose the problem, suggesting “he may have substance abuse issues,” a comment she rescinded. Her first instinct was to counter his alleged assault with one of her own, she wrote on Facebook: “I wanted to punch him in the face.” She even downplayed the import of the grab: “I know I shouldn’t be pissed but after spending 10 months on the campaign trail together you expect a little bit of respect at the very least for my husband.”

But if Thomson’s allegation is true, she should be “pissed”–for herself and the community. Sexual assault is serious. Accusing someone of sexual assault is serious. It’s also a continuum, a point made clear during the global “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more” backlash against sexual assault seen on International Women’s Day. Today we paid homage to Jyoti Sigghn Pandey, the woman whose brutal rape and murder in India exposed systemic acceptance of heinous attacks on women. On CBC’s The Current this week, journalist Sally Armstrong, who covered female subjugation the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa long before it was on mainstream media radar, discussed the rise-up movements women are staging in Afghanistan and Egypt, drawing attention to sexual assault in the streets. And we also saw media coverage of Ellie Cosgrove, a British woman who staged a protest in the London Underground to draw attention to the creep who ejaculated on her leg when she was riding the subway.

Comparatively, laying charges against someone groping a female behind may seem inconsequential, making a mountain out of a molehill and a waste of dwindling public resources. But that’s the wrong way of looking at it, says Toronto criminal lawyer Susan Chapman. Sexual assault is not a private matter, she says: “It’s a crime against the community. It’s demeaning to a woman, undermining her autonomy and the respect she should be held in. We don’t pay enough attention to that. Women don’t need to put up with that crap in 2013.” Changes were made to the criminal code in 1993, Chapman points out, to take out the notion that “penetration” is the only way to interfere with someone’s sexual integrity.

Chapman would like to see Thomson take her complaint to police. “This is not some crazy on the subway who grabbed your ass,” she says of the allegation. But laying charges can be a no-win for women, she admits: “They get a rough ride. If you lay charges, you’re a bitch and you have to do testify at trial and you get ripped apart. Or you go light on the guy and give him a warning and then people say you should commit to it.” But charges don’t have to be laid for police to investigate, Chapman says. Whether police should proceed to criminal charges is another matter: “They have to take into serious account the view of the plaintiff.  She does pay an awful price to go through the process. But that’s not a reason not to investigate.” The fact a crime is common is a reason for the police to prosecute, Chapman says, as seen with crackdowns on impaired driving or cabbie robberies.

Thomson wants to believe “publicly talking about it will change the way people behave.” Chapman thinks that’s optimistic, and the partisan mob mobilizing seen today suggests she’s right:  “To do it on social media diminishes the significance,” she says.  “It’s going to get people talking. But is it going to persuade them of the impropriety of the conduct? Not necessarily.”


Why Rob Ford should be charged with sexual assault (if what Sarah Thomson says is true)

  1. Annie Kingston, in her rush to shout alarm at the possibility of sexual assault forgets to mention that numerous witnesses have come forward to state that said touching never took place and that Thompson was heard talking to her companion about going back and getting a setup pic. And of course Maclean’s Headline for the story, something that would look not out of place on the cover of the National Enquirer, or any other supermarket tabloid. Looks as though Macleans is reaching for sensationalism to boost viewership rather than using quality. But then, what can you expect from a magazine that has been failing in quality for the last decade.

    • Agreed. No one will ever mistake me for a Rob Ford fan, and I first assumed he was guilty, but he has witnesses and – so far – she doesn’t. That and Thomson using social media to “hit back” rather than taking proper legal action definitely raises questions…

    • No idea if what you say is true, but addressing the author as “Annie” seems to be rather demeaning of her work, and of her. Her byline says Anne Kingston, not Annie, so unless you are a friend of hers, you have no business referring to her that way here. Might be an idea to get past the individual case that provoked the article, and read about the issue as she relates it.

      • But Harpo is ok? Or Cons for Conservatives is ok? Mistaking Anne for Annie is a big deal………………………..oh my, what a world we live in.

  2. What? Instead of slapping his Lordship with an assault charge for grabbing her behind, Ms.Thomson should do the right thing and simply turn the other cheek.

    • No, you are absolutely right. She should ask the police to file sexual assault charges. However, if there is no evidence that an assault took place and they have no hope of getting a conviction, they likely won’t do so. At the same time, if he is being truthful that the assault never took place, Rob Ford should charge her with libel and slander.

      • perhaps metropika meant something else when referring to the ‘other cheek’ being turned………………… :)

        • Yes.,…that is quite true!

  3. I’m from the Lorena Bobbit School of thought on such matters myself

    Instant, direct, painful action

  4. Although Rob Ford has no trouble making a perfect ass of himself, I’m sure that this is one little affair that he’d like to put behind him.

  5. I know everyone is different, direct action is not always safe or possible. But if he did this in public, why didn’t she haul around and slap or belt him? No need to go to court. Even Ford would have caved under that kind of public shaming.As a bonus it would most likely have been the end of even his career, wouldn’t it?
    It is certainly something i’m going to recommend to my daughter. I really wish she had kept up her karate lessons. A women should know how to defend herself in this day and age.

    • Because then it’s assault on HER part.

      And the same he said/she said you’re seeing here, as to the cause of the smack…

      • C’mon. Do you seriously mean to tell me if she had clocked him in view public view he would have charged her? Well it’s Ford so never say never. Could she not have grabbed his hand and yelled out? It takes some courage no doubt. But there seems no upside to taking a clown like Ford through the courts.

        • Well I hate to tell you this but it’s no longer ‘Gone With The Wind’ days, when the only way a lady could express anger was with a slap….anger especially if the man was being ‘fresh’.

          No one even knows what those things mean anymore.

          A belt is a belt.

          What is much more effective in a crowded public place, is a really sharp twisting pinch to male buttocks…..or depending on the circumstances, a good goose.

          After that, all you need to do is look innocent. Even if it’s a deliberate fake innocence. No one has ever complained, accused or even said anything to others.

          I’ve had men yelp, be totally shocked/confused, and embarrassed. But none of them ever laid a glove on me again.

          • Lol

            I’d like to say I resemble Heathcliff. But that was 25 years ago. More like Elmer Fudd these days.

          • I’m not sure how Heathcliff got into this, but as long as you get the idea.

          • Heathcliff – Gone with the wind…aren’t they linked to each other? Or have i got my romantic fiction confused?

          • Ahh okay….Wuthering Heights I believe. Gone with the WInd was Rhett something.

          • D’oh! Butler…but i wanted to be Heathcliff.

          • Emily, does the one stand for the number of brain cells that you have which are active, or for your IQ?

          • Actually I regard Mensans as lowlifes.

          • Sorry to hear you had to ride on the handi bus

          • did u run out of batteries emilyone….you seem unfulfilled and aggitated

          • Yer gonna have a helluva hangover. LOL

          • too much information Brian. keep it to yourself. and don’t take it out on women. It’s not their fault you’re ugly and smell.

          • Menopausal and lonely also come to mind

          • aw, so sad for you. But not an excuse to be a misogynist.

          • sophisticated, rational ‘argument’

        • I think if the mayor grabbed your ass during a photo op you would be in shock and wondering if it really happened.

          • If that particular mayor grabbed my ass i’d probably laughing too hard to go into shock.

  6. Wild speculation on the basis of a) it likely didn’t happen because otherwise the police would be involved b) it likely didn’t happen because the victim’s reaction was not “X”, or c) it likley didn’t happen because witnesses who may or may not have been near a fleeting event which could likely last less than a second and likely weren’t paying the detailed attention necessary to notice such a thing especially with no warning it was about to happen, are involved in a process called “victim shaming.” I hope that circumstances never arise in which they must first hand how misplaced these kind of assumptions generally are. And MacLeans should be ashamed of itself for engaging in the process. A simple “Rob Ford has denied the allegations” should suffice.

    This is not to say that it did or did not happen, but the indicators being bandied about are next to meaningless.

  7. This column made me happy, in a way. It’s as if one is witnessing feminism jump the shark in real time.

    An unsolicited ass grab, while unwelcome, is not, and has never been, criminal. No Canadian in history has ever been convicted of sexual assault for merely grabbing an ass.

    Comment is free, but facts are sacred & Ms. Kingston is, as feminists are wont to do, inventing a magical makebelieve world where such a trivial – yes, trivial – offense should be criminalized. This may be considered “smart” on crime, in the Laurentian Consensus world, but here in the reality based community it is a contemptibly stupid idea. Courts are clogged up enough as it is. Yes, sexual assault is serious, and we debase the term by describing assgrabbing as such.

    Finally, it has emerged that at least 3 witnesses not only dispute Ms. Thomson’s claim, but in fact witnessed her – and she does not deny this – plotting to use this non-event to harm Mr. Ford politically. It’s an established pattern, actually: the Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott was framed in a remarkably similar situation by a partisan feminist political opponent.

    • LOL ahh the arrival of the ‘Con artists’ [and sexists] mouthing things like the newly fashionable ‘Laurentian Consensus’ while whistling past graveyards.

      Alberta has a debt….Trudeau is here again….BOO!

      PS….’grabbing someone’s ass’ is indeed assault….even sexual assault. How would you like that on your resume?

      • Would you kindly cite case law in which anyone, anywhere has been convicted of ass grabbing? Just kidding, you can’t because it’s never happened. May I direct you to Emma Teitel’s latest piece in which she denounces shrill, dishonest feminists?

        It’s over, Emily. Feminism? Deader than Tommy Douglas. You killed it. You were too angry, too shrill, too dishonest, too stupid. This is “New Canada”.

        • If some guy grabs your arm in a bar…it’s assault. You can lay charges….like it or not….because you’re not allowed to go around grabbing people. Keep your hands to yourself.

          How would you like it if other people kept grabbing your body parts?

          Grabbing an ass makes it sexual.

          So again, keep your hands to yourself.

          LOL and you must be into the beer or sumpthin’ on this fine TGIF….women are 52% of the Canadian [not to mention, world] population. It ain’t goin’ away dude. Get over it.

          • This is not the US ignorant Emily. Citizens do not lay charges or choose to lay charges. That is up to the police and the crown. If a sexual assault allegation is made to the police it is policy that they are required to lay charges. She claims to have told an officer at the event that she was sexually assaulted and that he asked her if she wanted to lay charges. She has been watching too much US TV before she made up her obvious lies.

          • LOL citizens can and do lay charges here m’dear. Sorry.

          • It is my understanding that only police or other enforcers of the law can lay charges. Maybe you are confused with the idea of people having the option to press charges?

          • You can staple them for all I care. Either way, the sucker gets nailed.

          • Better have an eye witness if you’re charging someone with ass-grabbing.

          • Yeah, same for any kind of assault. Then the truthfulness of the witnesses comes under scrutiny.

            I didn’t say it would be easy, and it’s minor enough most people don’t bother….but it is assault nonetheless.

        • ‘Shrill’ – Drink!

        • someone get this guy Frank off the comments, he’s a train wreck of paranoid stupidity. How many times can you be burned by informed people and still come back. You’re embarrassing us, man.

    • it very much meets the definition of criminal act. Now it is certainly at the lower end of the scale compared to other instances and I can’t speak immediately to what the appropriate penalty would be, but don’t doubt for a moment it is criminal.

      • Would you kindly cite case law in which anyone, anywhere has been convicted of ass grabbing? Just kidding, you can’t because it’s never happened.

        But I’m intrigued: what do you think might be an appropriate sentence? Remember, any conviction for sexual assault means registering as a sex offender, DNA samples, neighbourhood warnings, and the lot. You’re suggesting ass grabbers should register as sex offenders – you cannot possibly justify that for such a trivial matter.

        What isn’t trivial: fake sexual assault claims. Throw Sarah Thomson in jail for two, three years. That would be reasonable and fair.

          • You had to go as far as Dubai to find a case of assgrabbing criminally prosecuted? That proves my point – it has never happened in Canada and the author of this piece betrays pig ignorance in suggesting it should.

          • Its the only other comparable country in this case

          • is it, though? did anyone perform a thorough search of Canadian cases using a public or (better yet) paying database, showing their work or providing a definitive passage on the topic. So far, all we have is one “Frank Ernest” popping off his mouth about it, no reason to assume it has any basis in fact.

          • this is someone who feels sexual assault is “a trivial matter” so it’s probably not even worth arguing with such a clearly hateful and violent person.

        • Just because no one has been convicted of it, it doesn’t mean it is legal. The Criminal Code is clear. Quit pretending to be a lawyer.

          • Do we even know no one has ever been convicted? The research necessary to prove a negative here could be lengthy and I won;t do it to satisfy the curiousity of an internet loudmouth, but do we know for sure it hasn’t occurred?

        • Stop being so thick-headed please. “Ass-grabbing” qualifies as unwanted touch and therefore fits within the definition of sexual assault under the current criminal code. Sorry you don’t like that definition. Conviction is not the point. If stupidity were a criminal offence, you would be guilty…but not yet convicted.

        • sorry that you feel sexual assault is “such a trivial matter”. Yours must be a sad, sad world indeed.

        • Here’s some case law:

          R. v. Airen (2007), 2007 CarswellOnt 6950, 2007 ONCJ 495
          R. v. Kuchecki (2010), 2010 ONCJ 213, 2010 CarswellOnt 3903
          R. v. Parker (2001), 2001 CarswellOnt 4802
          R. v. Carey (1993), 109 Sask. R. 87, 42 W.A.C. 87, 1993 CarswellSask 147

          I could go on. People are indeed convicted in Canada of “ass grabbing”.

          And for every decision that is reported (and thus searchable), there are probably a hundred more that aren’t, simply because the proposition that touching someone’s ass for a sexual purpose without their consent is a sexual assault is trite law.


          • Thank you for your work on this matter.

        • Interesting: all the complaints that the accusation should have been made to the police, not in the media. And here on the other hand that it’s a waste of time for the police? Which is it, people? Obviously grasping at straws for an obviously guilty mayor. If it’s so trivial, what’s the psycho-horror that a woman would complain? Throw her in jail, yeh right! see a psychiatrist, bud.

    • yeh, you’re misinformed on the law.

  8. Went to the press not the police first; yeah right it happened

    • Have the police gone after him for anything else he’s done? Even when they have photographs?

      • Her responsibility not his

        • Quoi?

      • ,

  9. If what she said is not true….she has done women a great disservice. If she is not willing to press charges she should be charged for putting such information out there hoping that the court of public opinion will assume guilt. What a sad society we live in. If anyone has a substance abuse issue it is likley Ms. Tompson. Check out the dreads she is sporting. Can you smelllllll what the rock is cooking……and i am not talking about the smell of her unwashed hair.

    • Mr. Ford also has recourse if he feels he has been maligned, will you feel the same way about him if he doesn’t take them, “The New Double Standard”?

      • No, because his handlers likley know that a White woman with dreadlocks will not be taken seriously, so why encourage her??????

        • LOL

          If the new double standard is ameliorated by the old double standard, then what’s the problem?

        • and….the real reasons for the haters comes out. race, appearance….

    • There is evidence of Thompson having substance abuse issues. In her first “interview” (PR appearance) she claimed she’d had only 1 beer that night, but other witnesses have come forward saying they saw her drinking Scotch. Everybody knows that alcoholics tend to lie about their drinking, so it’s quite possible she has a problem.

      • Wow. That’s quite a leap.

        It’s also completely irrelevant, but keep throwing sh*t at the wall, maybe something will stick

      • Weak sauce. (And though you couched the accusation of substance abuse on the part of Thomson as undetermined with a strong tendency towards ‘positive’, you really oughta watch that kinda thing.)

        Dude, she was up bright and early doing media appearances. For whatever that’s worth. She did not appear to be suffering from the previous evening’s libations (whatever they were). Rather bright eyed and bushy-tailed, in fact. Further, she has no record of making things up. Rob Ford, on the other hand, is a serial fabulator. (See Florida DUI and pot bust, drunk and disorderly at Leaf’s game, etc.)

        Rob Ford didn’t check in ’til after noon. Even then he didn’t make it to the office at all. Resulting in a grand total of one day’s work last week for The Mayor.

        If there is indeed a victim, you’re blaming her. Or looking for excuses to.

        And, as it’s likely you don’t have the pleasure of living in the city over which his worship presides, you’re obviously just defending another self-identified ‘conservative’ who, in this case, is a complete train wreck.

      • What was Ford drinking – ginger ale? Gotta say you have amazing sources Rick.

        • Water, apparently. And all of my sources are available on the internet, nothing amazing about it.

      • A spaced out white woman in her 40’s with dreadlocks. Nothing points to substance abuse issues there.

      • desperate. Why defend the guy? It’s a losing cause.

    • ok enough with accusing Ford of what he probably did as a ‘great disservice’ to womenkind. Sheesh.

  10. Where are the witnesses?

    • There are three. All have publicly stated that they over heard Sarah Thompson talking about pulling this stunt.

      • they are not ‘witnesses’

      • Yes she picked toronto to do this for a reason, its easily done there

  11. Methinks the author, as a responsible journalist, should be updating this article.

    Definitely the police should be involved as this appears to be a serious allegation and could well be mischief.

  12. I am surprised Adam Vaughan was not there holding an “ass cam” at a deceptive angle. lol

    • ooo……. how clever! You must have dreamed that one up after the bar closed.

      • no right after your mom wiped off her chin….blammm

    • Adam Vaughan grabs Gord Perks ass. This I am sure of.

    • which is exactly what people are demanding for proof, or pretending exists for proof, that nothing happened.

  13. This is so asinine and a cynical attempt to frame Ford who looks as if he’s had a few drinks. I’m certainly no fan of his, but she is not doing women a favour with such tactics. There won’t be any “assault” charges.

    • Nor will there be any libel charges, one suspects.

  14. If she was that upset she should have gone to the police not Facebook, the media and public radio. She herself has turned it into a circus.

    • How can you go to the police if no crime has taken place?

    • talk to ‘Frank.’ He doesn’t want her to waste the time of the police. Get together and talk it out, morons.

  15. Thompson is the one who should be charged. It’s clear that there’s no line Toronto’s loony left won’t cross in their efforts to subvert democracy. If there is any truth to her allegations, we’ll never know because she decided to lie and exaggerate the incident from the start. And to think that this woman runs a magazine called “Women’s Post”! If this is the new feminism in Canada, women are doomed.

    • so, you live by the “guilty until proven innocent” method, hey? how’s that working out for you?

      • It’s Rob Ford who was being treated as “guilty until proven innocent” in this case.

        • no it isn’t. Who said he was guilty?

          • Anne Kingston and Sarah Thomson.

          • Sarah Thomson is the alleged victim, of course she thinks he’s guilty. Are you really that thick?

    • 40 something white woman with dreadlocks. Cookoo! Cookoo! Cookoo!

      • white middle-aged man in a suit. Ergo, he’s not lying. whatever.

    • a nice totalitarian solution. and more tears for women. It really really breaks your poor little hearts just to think of the damage to the reputation of women everywhere by one woman complaining about being abused.

  16. Posting embarrassing photo of Rob Ford, making sexual allegation during a significant day (International Women’s Day), insinuation of drug use, suggestion of male chauvinism, no police report, no witness, media trial and being interviewed immediately by Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale, the poster boy for Hate Rob Ford Campaign are all signatures of a leftist propaganda. Enough.

  17. I think shes ful of s#@t! This is a has been who is trying to grab the spotlight once again

  18. Just in case some of you haven’t see it, CityNews had an exclusive interview with a Mr. Jordan Falkenstein late yesterday, he was standing right next to them when the photo was taken and could see and hear everything that took place.

    He is now, the 3rd independent witness that has come forward supporting the mayors version of events for that evening. You can see the whole story on the CityNews web site, there is a video of it on there.

    So now we have 3 witnesses who have come forward (voluntarily) and put themselves out there, with solid direct visual and auditory confirmation of the Mayors version of events for the evening.

    The actual video interview says a lot more, you can see the guy is genuine and he wants his version of events out there. To see it you have to search on his name on that site under video’s.

    “In an exclusive interview with CityNews, Jordan Falkenstein said he was waiting to have his photo taken with Ford at the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC) event, when Thomson budded in line to have her picture taken with the mayor. He said Thomson requested a second photo after she didn’t like the first one.

    Falkenstein said he was right beside them during the encounter and could overhear their conversation.

    “She made a statement about his trip to Florida and he said jokingly, ‘You should have come with us.’ She laughed as if she enjoyed it,” Falkenstein said.

    Falkenstein didn’t see any inappropriate touching, despite Thomson’s claim to CityNews that the mayor “grabbed my ass.”

    “I did not see that,” Falkenstein added. “His hands were on her shoulder or arm…It doesn’t add up, that’s not what I saw, that’s not what was going on and I dare to say it was a (Thomson) publicity stunt.””

    • The word “solid” does not mean what you think it means, esp. in connection with the words “direct”, “visual” and “auditory”. Sure, some people are talking about what they think happened regarding a fleeting event during a crowded party. It’s not much more than that, though.

      • All of the 3 witnesses that have come forward are very clear about what they heard and saw that evening, you should listen to the interviews. You won’t get much better corroboration than that.

        • wrong. wasting my time here, but the shovelfuls of desperate mendacity are appalling! Have listened, no corroboration, at all, that’s that. Why are you people so angry? h,mmm…

          • Her political ambitions are over, enough said. Suck it up and enjoy!

          • actually looks like with a good campaign she would beat Ford, according to the latest polls. It’s Ford’s political career that is over. Really, neither is going to be mayor after the next election. You won’t have her around as a nightmare in your old-timer noggin anymore. What is all the fuss about?—I mean going nutso because someone dared, dared to stand up to the mayor’s bad behaviour. That’s been the revealing thing about all this. I’m confident someone truly on the left who represents Toronto’s best interests will be elected.

      • exactly

    • Didn’t like the first photo? Why, I wonder? Ford didn’t look sloshed enough for her, maybe?

    • I would love to see Sarah get sued and then stomped in court. Big ruling. Crushing settlement. Moral of the story: Dont make up lies about people committing sexual assault.

      • Why, you feeling guilty? Have plans? Is it a crime to speak up? Does your rhetoric of violence indicate something you are ashamed of?

    • no one saw. They had their backs to the wall. This is crap. And no one being able to see doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. You all know, based on Ford’s history and character, that it did.

      • “His hands were on her shoulder or arm” Now that sounds very clear to me and I think anyone with a brain bigger than a peanut.

        The false scandal is over, get over it.

  19. Grabbing someone is not right or legal – but only if it actually took place. As a wife and mother I worry whether my son or husband might get charged. If someone accused you (or your son/husband) of sexual assault and they kept changing their story would you still insist you(they) should be charged when you know you(they) did nothing? Ms. Thompson had the classic signs of a pathological liar, she believes her own web and is clever at changing it up when challenged – but not clever enough, I see through it.
    Here is the evidence:
    First she talked to the mayor’s “people”, then it was just “the conservatives who hang around him, I know these people, I see them all the time”, then it’s “people in general, I don’t know their names”. She first remarked that he was “out of it” and had a “problem with substance abuse”, and “I’ve never seen him like this”, but then when witnesses confirmed that he had not been drinking that evening and that he was perfectly normal she back-paddled.
    If that isn’t enough, “I just had a beer and cranberry juice”, then when challenged about the scotch, “Oh, he was wearing sunglasses in a dark room” ??
    Now she claims that when she was overheard plotting to “set him up” with a photo, that it was “after it happened already” (Why is this coming out now? Why not tell the whole truth in the first place?) She says “I stayed away from him after he did this”, then she says she went to take a picture, well which is it??
    She knows full well she will not be required to take a lie detector test and even if she does, a pathological liar can indeed pass a lie detector test. But I bet the mayor would also pass one. I wonder if her assistant (the other Sarah) would pass it? And all the witnesses who contradicted her?

    • She also said when she told his handlers to get control of him,and they laughed at her,in the same interview the story changed again that his handler said he would look into it! So when people lie,the story never stays the same just like in court Lawyers,have many ways of asking the same question,when the witness lies the story changes with the angle of questioning.She also said he was wasted,yet was acting normal in the same interview.Ya she is just another slimy liberal.

      • You do know that even people telling the truth change details in their stories and no two people tell exactly the same story unless there has been some collusion?

        Niels Degrasse Tyson, a famous scientist, was once was booted off a jury because he said he would not convict someone of a crime on eye witness testimony alone and certainly not on the testimony of one eye witness. Why? Because we all think we saw something when we didn’t, personal recollection is inherently faulty. Hence as a scientist he would require more evidence than that.

    • nice try, Sherlock. People who are false charged, for any thing, can defend themselves. We can’t make it impossible to make accusations, which seems to be your wish. As for pathological liars, everybody knows, everyone here, knows full well who the documented liar is. Ford.

  20. Also, if these allegations are untrue, she should be doubly ashamed to be pulling this stunt on International Women’s Day. Unfortunately those who obstinately defend her, regardless of the gaping holes and contradictions in her story may never know the real truth. They might as themselves what they would do if a woman like Ms. Thompson came after them or one of their loved ones? It is very serious to be accused of this sort of crime and impossible to defend. Your life, your finances, your family and friends go up in smoke and you could go to jail for crimes you did not commit, based on another person’s word. Very frightening.

    • Oh for the love of god. You’re welcome to have an opinion on what did or did not happen. But we have an allegation, a denial and no proof to support either side.

      But you jump to the conclusion that the alleged victim is lying, and then try to shame her. That is exactly the sort of behaviour that feminism has been trying to stop. And to use International Womens’ Day (like Ford did) in shaming the alleged victim is just the absolute pinnacle of ignorance.

      • There is ample support for Rob Ford,many witnesses,but no witness support for Miss Thomson.You need to get more facts before commenting on issues you know nothing about.

        • I know exactly as much as you, which is what has been reported so far.

          I know there is “support” for Ford, but that hardly counts as proof. There’s no reason why it couldn’t have happened exactly has Thomson says it did, without anyone seeing it. It was allegedly, after all, a split-second act that happened behind them both. And there’s a wall behind them in the picture.

          You can find other comments from me here – never once have I called Ford guilty. But it’s amazing how many people just know that Thomson is lying! And it’s amazing how much vitriol people have for her. That’s your “Ford Nation” I guess.

      • exactly. The International Womens’ day trick, like all the people here crying crocodile tears in worry over the harm to women that accusing Ford will do, is slick and sick and vile. And Ford started it, with his Orwellian denial.

    • Ford should charge her with slander and libel if the allegations are untrue. It is not impossible to defend. If people were standing there and saw his hands on her arms and shoulders, making it impossible that he grabbed her ass, he will win.

      • I know I rag on you pretty hard when I think you’re not thinking, but don’t ever let me say that you’re incapable of it. Between this post and your stuff in Emma’s column over there, you’re very capable when you want.

        • Thanks…I think.

      • yes, let’s punish the victims! put ’em jail! make them pay!

    • yeh, like you’re so worried about all the women of the world. sheesh.

  21. Yes and it is also a crime to file a false police report – which is why this big liar is not filing one.

    • but all your friends say ‘why did she not file a police report’!

  22. Sarah Thompson has accused a person of a criminal offense. This must go to court.

  23. As Ms. Thomson’s allegations seemingly constitute an effectively ‘published statement’ we shall see if Mr. Ford takes action under libel statutes. That may be the pudding’s proof.

    • Possible defamation and minor sexual assault may be the two most “under-litigated” transgressions in existence. Lotsa people flappin’ their gums about it means, but ain’t nobody knows nothing here – not people who claim they have hawk-eye vision and perfect recall of every single detail of a crowded party, not the people who claim they overheard something or other in that same crowded event. Only people that will ever know for sure are Ms. thomson and Mr. Ford (unless he’s too drunk to recall it).

  24. And if what Mayor Rob Ford says is true, than Sarah Thomson should be charged.

  25. I’d say Ms Kingston and Ms Thompson are up to exactly the same thing – saying inflammatory things looking for attention.

  26. Anne Kingston, this article is remarkably one sided. You completely omitted the growing mountain of evidence that Sarah Thomson fabricated this whole thing as a now botched smear job. 2 Richmond Hill councilors said she set it up, and now another direct eyewitness has said that what Thomson accuses Ford of flat out didn’t happen.

    Forget Ford. If the above is true and Thomson fabricated the whole thing as an attempt to smear Ford and use it for her own mayoralty run next year, what do you suggest should happen to Thomson?

    No man should have to put up with being falsely accused of sexual assault, and Rob Ford has put up with more than anyone’s fair share of false, defamatory attacks. If Thomson fabricated this, she should be either sued for libel or in jail. Enough is enough. I hope Ford does everything in his power to make Thomson pay, and given the mountain of evidence before you you owe it to your readers to address the other side of this story.

    • there is no evidence for fabrication. There is no evidence for the initial incident, as y’all point out. Then when she tried to get evidence, you call it a ‘set-up.’

  27. Do you CON azz clowns really think you’re helping Baby Huey Long with your hateful posts?
    You are just showing Canadians the sort of pig that votes CON.

    • Con azz clowns isnt hateful How is your curly tail Porky the Hypocrite

    • Holy crap you just insulted a huge percentage of the Canadian population.

  28. I have no idea what happened, but let’s say it did. Why would you defend the likes of Rob Ford to get drunk in public and grope women? Would you defend him if it was your wife or daughter whose ass he grabbed? How would you deal with it: explain to your daugher it’s really okay for men to touch her whether she wants them to or not, or would you want to punch his face?

    • You are right, we don’t know what happened but deciding a person is guilty because he is ‘Rob Ford’ and low hanging fruit is not right. This should be dealt with through a court system, not through the media. If there isn’t enough proof for criminal charges, let’s have a civil suit so the truth comes out. I don’t want my daughter getting her ass grabbed but I don’t want my son getting accused of grabbing some girl’s ass when he didn’t do it either. On that subject, my guess is no woman has ever been arrested for ass-grabbing a man. What do you think?

      • I think your answer makes the most sense out of all of them. Of course it is a two way street. Always has been, and always will be. Perhaps the Sarah Thomsons of this world have no sons.

    • If I believed that Miss Thomson had any credability I would not support Mr.Ford,after watching the various interviews I am confident that Miss.Thomson is a pathological lier!

  29. Let’s try a new post: “why Sarah Thompson should be sued for slander, if what she says is false”.

  30. Firstly, I have no idea what happened that night between Ford and Thomson. My issue is that, having apparently been the victim of sexual assaut, Sarah Thomson is said to have tried to encourage another woman to subject herself to the same indignity (in order to obtain photographic evidence – for use in future campaign). I’ve copied the next three paragraphs from the following link http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/09/sarah-thomson-the-talk-of-the-town-after-saying-rob-ford-grabbed-her-ass/:

    “Ms. Thomson said she was in shock and estimated she told about 20 people at the event about the grab. One of them was Carmine Perrelli, Richmond Hill’s Ward 2 councillor, who came forward to say that, later in the evening, he heard Ms. Thomson talking about trying to get a photo of the mayor’s hand on her assistant Sarah Patterson’s derriere.

    “She said ‘I’m going to set him up and I’m going to use the pictures against him in the next election because I’m going to be the Mayor of Toronto’,” said Mr. Perrelli.

    Greg Beros, another Richmond Hill city councillor, said he also heard Ms. Thomson discuss a plan to stage a photo that would come in useful in a campaign.”

    If this part of the story is true, then Thomson does not appear to take her sexual assaut very seriously (or might not have respect for the dignity/rights of her female peers). Regardless of what happened initially, to ask another to willingly become a victim of the same crime is one part of this story didn’t feel right not to mention.

  31. I think that if Ford has witnesses he should file a civil suite for slander. Too many of the chattering class feel that it’s O.K. to make incriminating statements and the quietly back off after the damage has been done.

  32. IF the claim is false then Thompson should face charges , but that doesnt happen , women under those circunstances are treated like children who are not responsible fotr their actions.

  33. Has there ever been a Mayor of Toronto who has been so besieged by vicious and vindictive attacks as Rob Ford? It’s just one attack after another! And his enemies apparently like to play dirty!

    How can a man who holds the high office of Mayor of Toronto be so easy a target for anyone with a trumped up story like Sarah Thompson’s? Her claim is so full of holes you could literally drive a truck through it! All too often, there is a knee jerk reaction towards the male’s guilt in an allegation of sexual assault. I can only assume that is the motivation behind this accusation.

    Thompson’s actions also besmirch the very real plights of true sexual assault victims, turning a serious crime into merely a convenient device to use as a weapon against the Mayor. If she wasn’t Caucasian, she would undoubtedly have played the race card as well. Coming on the heels of the last attempt to remove him from his office, it is so clearly and obviously a set-up that it virtually screams “fake!”

    Rob Ford has rights too. If Ford’s enemies are permitted to walk all over him in this outrageous fashion, then what do you think will be next on the agenda for them? The public, that’s who! And If people of so little integrity ever do defeat Ford and come into power, it could very well be you that falls victim next!

  34. There was no sexual assault. Anyone with half a brain cell knows it. People that are in fact sexually assaulted go to the police not to Twitter and Facebook. The woman has had nothing but a smile on her face since the alleged assault took place. She was even smiling ear to ear in the picture. Just loving the 15 minutes of cheap fame.

    Sarah Thompson has insulted the intelligence of people yet again by thinking that people would actually buy this nonsense.

    Good luck in the next mayoral election Sarah! You’ll need it.

    • Someone seems a little too intimately acquainted with exactly how victims should behave. Something you want to get off your chest?

  35. The woman simply isn’t credible, claiming he was on coke without having any clue other than google. The guy is a lot of things but there is no proof he did this to this woman and frankly if there is no proof she should be charged for making such awful accusations. I mean really, how many actual victims of sexual assault would go to social media to shout about it. She demeans actual victims and has slandered Ford publically without a shred of evidence.