News / Halifax

Protests planned, petitions signed, complaints rolling in over Halifax judge's consent comments

Thousands have signed petitions, and people are planning to protest Judge Gregory Lenehan's acquittal of a Halifax taxi driver charged with sexual assault.

Judge Gregory Lenehan when he was a Crown prosecutor in 2009.

CBC

Judge Gregory Lenehan when he was a Crown prosecutor in 2009.

A petition is calling for an investigation against Judge Gregory Lenehan while protests over his latest verdict are being organized.

A petition to launch a formal inquiry against Lenehan was launched on change.org around 11 a.m. Thursday, and by 5 p.m. it had reached 3,121 signatures, with other petitions popping up.

“Gregory Lenehan's ideas of consent are antiquated and dangerous. He should not be in a position to hand down decisions allowing sexual predators to go free,” reads the petition’s description.

Reactions to Lenehan’s verdict, an acquittal of a taxi driver facing sexual assault charges, have been generally negative, with hundreds of upset Haligonians voicing their opinions on Twitter and Facebook.

Multiple protests have been announced since the verdict with almost two hundred people confirmed for each which are planned throughout next week.

“The point is to cause a disruption,” said Amanda Dodsworth, who is organizing one of the protests.

“We want to be seen and be heard, and what better way to do that than with a couple hundred people marching down the street. There are a lot of angry people, and they need an outlet to voice their opinion, a controlled outlet.”

Dodsworth plans to hold a rally at City Hall Tuesday afternoon, followed by a march to the Nova Scotia Courthouse on Spring Garden Road.

Calls to file complaints against Gregory have also spread across social media, asking people to file formal complaints to get him investigated or removed.

In an interview with the Metro, a spokesperson for the Executive Office of the Nova Scotia Judiciary declined to comment on the complaints, but said some of them had been filed incorrectly and provided the correct steps.

For those interested in filing a complaint against a provincial judge’s conduct during a court trial, they must be written out and sent to the Office of the Chief Judge, and more info on the process can be found at the court’s website.

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