Friday, February 21, 1997

Betty Ann Adam

Judge accused again of bias

In 1994 Malone said he considered an 18-year-old prostitute's background when he acquitted the pimp accused of attacking her.

A women's group has added a three-year-old decision by Queen's Bench Justice Ted Malone to a complaint already filed against him with the Canadian Judicial Council.

The initial complaint, filed by a coalition of Regina-based women's groups protested Malone's instructions to the jury during the trial of Alex Ternowetsky and Steven Kummerfield who were convicted of manslaughter in the beating death of Pamela Jean George.

Malone told jurors it would be "very dangerous" to convict the pair of first-degree murder and told them to bear in mind that George was "indeed a prostitute" when considering if she consented to sexual activity.

Kripa Sekhar, Saskatchewan representative of the National Action committee on the Status of Women (NAC), said the remarks "dehumanized women who have worked the streets" and "trivialized the murder."

The official complaint, signed by NAC, the Saskatchewan Battered Women Advocacy Network and four other groups, was filed in January with the Canadian Judicial Council.

The Council receives and investigates allegations of misbehavior by federally appointed judges. Although it cannot discipline judges, it can recommend to the Minister of Justice that Parliament remove a judge from office.

Earlier this week, the groups added to their original complaint a decision Malone made in June 1994.

In that case, Malone dismissed charges of unlawful confinement and sexual assault against a Regina pimp accused of attacking an 18-year-old woman in his apartment.

Malone wrote that he needed to deal with the complainant's background.

"She admitted at the time of the offence she was a prostitute and did so until her pimp at the time beat her up.

"She even allowed herself to be sold by one pimp to another," Malone wrote.

He concluded that "it would be unsafe to convict him."

The woman, who now lives in Saskatoon and has given up prostitution, said Malone's remarks were discouraging.

"I felt like it was a waste of time, that I shouldn't have even bothered to go through the court system," she said, asking her name not be used.

"He has to send out a stronger statement when these cases come up because they come up so often.

"I didn't get murdered, thank God, but some girls do.

"If he has a personal bias against these women then he shouldn't be involved in these cases," she said.

Sekhar hopes the new information will strengthen the original complaint.

"We filed a complaint about how we felt about him addressing Pamela George as a prostitute, dehumanizing her, devaluing her as a human being. And we said this case needed to be addressed as well.

"It makes me wonder what this woman must have gone through having been victimized. Having got through a time when her life could have been in so much danger and then on top of it in a court of law to go through this humiliation, Sekhar said.

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Created: May 21, 1997
Last modified: July 2, 1997

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