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R. v. Profit, [1993] 3 S.C.R. 637

 

Her Majesty The Queen                                                                   Appellant

 

v.

 

Keith Gordon Profit     Respondent

 

Indexed as:  R. v. Profit

 

File No.:  23313.

 

1993:  October 7.

 


Present:  Lamer C.J. and L'Heureux‑Dubé, Sopinka, McLachlin and Iacobucci JJ.

 

on appeal from the court of appeal for ontario

 

                   Criminal law ‑‑ Evidence ‑‑ Character evidence ‑‑ Weight to be given to evidence of good character of accused in sexual assault cases involving children ‑‑ Trial judge entitled to find propensity value of character evidence as to morality diminished in such cases.

 

                   APPEAL from a judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal (1992), 11 O.R. (3d) 98, 58 O.A.C. 226, 16 C.R. (4th) 332, allowing the accused's appeal from his conviction for indecent assault and ordering a new trial.  Appeal allowed.

 

                   Carol A. Brewer, for the appellant.

 

                   Brian H. Greenspan, for the respondent.

 

                   The judgment of the Court was delivered orally by

 

                   Sopinka J. ‑‑ We agree with the conclusion of Griffiths J.A. in his dissenting reasons.  When the reasons of the trial judge are considered as a whole, we are satisfied that he dealt with the character evidence tendered in this case adequately.  The reasons of the trial judge must be viewed in light of the fact that as a matter of common sense, but not as a principle of law, a trial judge may take into account that in sexual assault cases involving children, sexual misconduct occurs in private and in most cases will not be reflected in the reputation in the community of the accused for morality.  As a matter of weight, the trial judge is entitled to find that the propensity value of character evidence as to morality is diminished in such cases.

 

                   Accordingly, the appeal is allowed and the convictions restored.

 

                   Judgment accordingly.

 

                   Solicitor for the appellant:  The Ministry of the Attorney General, Toronto.

 

                   Solicitors for the respondent:  Greenspan, Humphrey, Toronto.

 

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