Condom Tamperer Loses Final Appeal of Sexual Assault Case - R. v. Hutchinson, 2014 SCC 19 (2014)
Friday, March 7, 2014
"A Nova Scotia man who admitted he tampered with his girlfriend's condoms resulting in her pregnancy lost his Supreme Court appeal and must now serve the balance of his 18-month jail sentence on a charge of sexual assault.
"Canada's top court unanimously upheld Craig Jaret Hutchinson's sexual assault conviction on Friday morning.
"In the summer of 2006, Hutchinson thought he could save his flagging relationship by getting his girlfriend pregnant. He surreptitiously poked holes in her condoms.
"She eventually became pregnant, but asked for time to think. It was during that period that Hutchinson told her in a series of text messages what he'd done. She called police and had an abortion. A publication ban protects her identity.
"In Friday's 7-0 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Hutchinson deprived the woman of her ability to consent to sex.
"'The accused's condom sabotage constituted fraud … the result that no consent was obtained,' Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Thomas Cromwell wrote on behalf of the court.
"'A person consents to how she will be touched, and she is entitled to decide what sexual activity she agrees to engage in for whatever reason she wishes. The fact that some of the consequences of her motives are more serious than others, such as pregnancy, does not in the slightest undermine her right to decide how the sexual activity she chooses to engage in is carried out. It is neither her partner’s business nor the state’s,' read the ruling.
"'We conclude that where a complainant has chosen not to become pregnant, deceptions that deprive her of the benefit of that choice by making her pregnant, or exposing her to an increased risk of becoming pregnant by removing effective birth control, may constitute a sufficiently serious deprivation for the purposes of fraud vitiating consent.'"
Full article and decision after the jump...