This is what I would say were I the Ghomeshi judge – and this is with no knowledge of the laws involved and without having heard any testimony, just on the basis of articles and commentary:
I’d say, there is no question that Mr. Ghomeshi behaved extremely badly, reprehensibly, toward women in a sexual context and perhaps also in a professional one, if the tales coming from CBC are true. That his arrogance and blindness were horrifying and that he deserves the public disgrace he brought on himself.
However. There is also no question that the women involved, despite their surprise at sudden unpleasant treatment, went back for more. This is not about the trauma of abused women, as so many are shouting; these were not helpless women in a longterm relationship with a man who assaulted them. They were intelligent, independent adults very interested in pursuing a man who had a lot of power in their world, and was also, let’s face it, then seen as attractive, fun and sexy. So, eyes wide open, they went back again and again, and then, when they finally went public with their complaints, their reports to the police were so full of omissions, collusion with each other and even lies that it made Ms. Henein’s job easy.
I would sentence Mr. Ghomeshi to therapy – enforced therapy with someone who specializes in men with violent tendencies – and to 200 hours of work in a battered women’s shelter, preferably one for immigrant women who do not know who he is. Let him get to know vulnerable human beings whose lives are irrevocably damaged by male violence.
And then please, let’s forget this circus and focus on hunger, child care, poverty.
I’ve been appalled by what sound like the hounds of hell baying for blood. An FB post states that Marie Henein, his lawyer, is betraying all women by defending her client. I can tell you that if anyone I knew were ever in deep trouble, male or female, Marie Henein is the first lawyer I’d call. She has done her job in exemplary fashion. Some of the things women I know have said on FB are so near to bloodletting, it makes me glad lynching is illegal. Who does that help, when we are full of hate ourselves?
Here’s a fantastic article by Gerry Caplan about something that might change the course of our world: the lunacy of the American political system.