Awet Mehari, who first won an appeal, has 2019 guilty verdict reinstated

·1 min read
Mehari will be returned to a facility to serve out the remainder of his sentence.
Mehari will be returned to a facility to serve out the remainder of his sentence.

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A Regina man's appeal in a 2017 sexual assault case was dismissed on Friday.

Awet Mehari was found guilty of sexual assault in 2019 and sentenced to three years behind bars. He appealed that decision and won. The appeal grounds were that the trial judge erred in how they determined the credibility of evidence.

Mehari suggested one of the errors the judge made was that she applied "uneven scrutiny" to his testimony compared to the complainant. Two justices with the appeal court concluded that the trial judge made errors in applying a "more stringent level of scrutiny" to the evidence of Mehari than to the complainant's evidence.

Because the appeal court initially decided that argument had merit and warranted a new trial, they did not address Mehari's other arguments for appeal.

The Crown then took that decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Supreme Court of Canada, on Friday, struck down the Court of Appeal decision and returned the matter to the appeal court, which looked at Mehari's other appeal arguments.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal found the arguments had no merit, which meant the 2019 decision was upheld.

Mehari had 48 hours from the time the decision was issued to turn himself into Regina police. CBC News reached out to Regina police on Friday to see if Mehari turned himself in, but did not receive a response by deadline.

He will be returned to a facility to serve out the remainder of his sentence.