Canada police arrest ex-radio host in sex case
ORONTO (AP) - Police arrested a prominent former Canadian Broadcasting Corp. radio host on sexual assault charges on Wednesday.
Toronto police said in a statement that former CBC star radio host Jian Ghomeshi has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of what they called "overcome resistance - choking."
The allegations, first reported in the media in October, rocked the Canadian public broadcaster, a vaunted Canadian institution.
Ghomeshi, 47, had hosted "Q'', a CBC radio show on culture, since 2007. His show was also heard on many radio stations in the U.S.
Ghomeshi made a brief appearance in court where a justice of the peace granted him bail on condition he turns over his passport and lives with his mother. Bail was set at $100,000. He's due in court again on Jan. 9. A publication ban on details about the case has been imposed.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair declined comment earlier, saying the matter is now before the courts.
CBC fired Ghomeshi in October, saying his firing was prompted by the emergence of "graphic" evidence that he had caused physical injury to a person.
Ghomeshi defended his actions in a 1,500- word statement on Facebook then, saying he had consensual "rough sex" with women and is the victim of a disgruntled ex-girlfriend. After the Toronto Star reported several more allegations days later, Ghomeshi posted that he would confront the allegations "directly," but wouldn't discuss them with the media.
Police urged in late October for other women to come forward. Police began the investigation after nine victims had contacted various media sources to report incidents of assault and sexual assault involving Ghomeshi.
One of the women who contacted police was actress Lucy DeCoutere, a star of the long-running TV and film series "Trailer Park Boys."
DeCoutere, who also serves as a captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force, was the first woman who made allegations against Ghomeshi to speak on the record about her experience. DeCoutere said she went on a date with him and alleges that when they returned to his home, he pressed her up against a wall, choked her and slapped her across the face several times.
Author and lawyer Reva Seth became the second woman to go public, writing in the Huffington Post that Ghomeshi put his hands around her throat and sexually assaulted her, although it was not known if she was one of the women who filed a complaint to police against Ghomeshi.
None of the allegations from any of the women have been proven. Ghomeshi's lawyer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
After he was fired, Ghomeshi launched a $55-million lawsuit against the CBC for breach of confidence and defamation. He dropped that lawsuit Tuesday. A union grievance alleging dismissal without proper cause remains.
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