Sexual Assault

November 24, 2022

R v PJS, 2014 ABQB 409

A stay of proceedings was entered on a five-count information alleging a sexual assault based on 29 months delay.

Nature of Application? Unreasonable delay in bringing the matter to trial.

The accused, PJS, was charged under a five-count indictment that he sexually assaulted MG on January 5, 2012, assaulted MG causing her bodily harm on January 10, 2012, damaged MG’s cell phone on January 10, 2012, uttered threats to MG on January 10, 2012, and assaulted MG on January 12, 2012.

PJS was arrested and charged on January 12, 2012. The trial of these charges was set to begin on Wednesday, June 18, 2014. On June 3, 2014, Mr. Royer, on behalf of PJS filed a Charter notice claiming that his s 7, 11(b), 11(d) and 11(h) Charter rights had been violated, and sought a stay of all charges.


The trial judge said:

Here, I am of the view that a reasonable member of the public, who understands the purpose and rationale for s 7 and s 11(b) of the Charter, would consider that it would be less fair to try PJS — a stranger to the criminal justice system and someone who is presumed innocent, after waiting for routine disclosure for 11 months and waiting for his trial for 29 months, after experiencing two unnecessary adjournments to which he contributed nothing — than to require him to go to trial and face his accuser, who has an admittedly imperfect memory, and to testify on his own behalf with an imperfect memory, about events which occurred two and a half years ago and in a trial which might turn on tiny details.


I am grateful to counsel for their able and thoughtful arguments, particularly to Mr. Royer who carefully walked a doubting judge through his cases and arguments. His client was very well served.

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