Lawyer in Canada's Jian Ghomeshi sex assault trial calls Schneiderman's statement "tone deaf"

Posted at 11:47 AM, May 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-08 11:47:27-04

The lawyer who represented Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi throughout his high-profile 2016 sex assault trial calls New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's response to assault allegations against him "tone deaf."

Speaking with 7 Eyewitness News Tuesday morning from Toronto, criminal lawyer Marie Henein said Schneiderman's brief statement was unsatisfactory, given the lengthy story and allegations published Monday evening in The New Yorker.

"This [statement] is not going to satisfy anybody," Henein said.

While Schneiderman's four-sentence response denies physical abuse allegations against him by four women, Henein argues it is an acknowledgment that the events described by those women are accurate. 

Full statement from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman: "In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity.  I have not assaulted anyone.  I have never engaged in non-consensual sex, which is a line I would not cross."

"This statement doesn't give you perspective. It's a blow-off," Henein said.

Henein, who was behind Jian Ghomeshi's acquittal of sexual assault and choking charges in connection to allegations made by women he dated from 2002-2003, believes that the alleged intimidation placed on Schneiderman's accusers would be justification for not reporting their encounter to police.

In The New Yorker report, one accuser says Schneiderman threatened to have her phones tapped. Two accusers recalled him threatening to have them killed if they broke up with him.

Regarding Schneiderman's comments about role-play and sexual activity, Henein says the public must consider what, if any, early discussion there was about that between him and his accusers, and to what extent reality exceeded expectation.

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