Former CTV weatherman found not criminally responsible on harassment charges

·1 min read
Following an extensive assessment by mental health experts, retired CTV weatherman J.J. Clarke was found not criminally responsible Wednesday on the three harassment charges he was still facing, his lawyer told CBC News. (Facebook - image credit)
Following an extensive assessment by mental health experts, retired CTV weatherman J.J. Clarke was found not criminally responsible Wednesday on the three harassment charges he was still facing, his lawyer told CBC News. (Facebook - image credit)

Former CTV weatherman J.J. Clarke has been found not criminally responsible on three harassment charges, his lawyer says.

Clarke, whose real name is Ron Rowat, was arrested in January 2021 and was originally facing seven charges related to three complainants.

The allegations against the 66-year-old, which were never proven in court, included that he stalked, threatened and harassed an Ottawa Valley woman. Four of the charges were later withdrawn.

Rowat was initially deemed fit to stand trial in October, but his lawyers asked for a reassessment to determine whether he could be held criminally responsible for his actions.

On Wednesday, following the submission of a thorough report by a forensic psychiatrist, a judge ruled he could not be, his lawyer Lawrence Greenspon told CBC.

'Very pleased'

"He is very pleased, very happy to be out of the criminal justice system and into the mental health system," said Greenspon.

"The experts at The Royal Ottawa [Mental Health Centre] have assessed him extensively and determined that during the time that these offences took place that he was not, as they used to say, of sound mind."

The Ontario Review Board, which has jurisdiction over people found not criminally responsible due to mental health issues or medically unfit to stand trial, will now take over Rowat's case, Greenspon said.

A hearing will likely take place over the next few months, he added.

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