Saskatoon woman charged with sexual assault against children, bestiality will go straight to trial

The woman will stand trial at Court of King's Bench in Saskatoon in December 2023. (CBC - image credit)
The woman will stand trial at Court of King's Bench in Saskatoon in December 2023. (CBC - image credit)

A Saskatoon woman facing eight counts of sexual abuse against two children is going straight to trial.

The allegations include making child pornography and bestiality. She cannot be named because it would identify the children.

It's alleged the assaults happened between 2019 and 2021.

The investigation began after police were contacted in early 2021 with a report that a child was being sexually assaulted and images of her were being shared over a social media platform.

Typically, an accused goes through a preliminary hearing where a judge assesses whether there is enough evidence to go to trial.

But a prosecutor may apply to the provincial attorney general to skip that hearing.

A 2009 Supreme Court of Canada decision details the various reasons why an accused could go directly to trial. One such reason is that an alleged offence is so controversial that it's in the public interest to try the case as quickly as possible.

Other possible reasons include:

  • The risk that delays in the trial could deprive the accused of the right to be tried within a reasonable time.

  • The physical or psychological health of witnesses, their age, their safety or that of their relatives, and the difficulties involved in having witnesses testify more than once.

  • Preservation of the integrity of the Crown's evidence by, for example, protecting informants and ongoing police investigations.

  • A risk that evidence could be destroyed.

  • Public safety reasons.

  • The need to avoid multiple proceedings caused by delays in making arrests.

  • The possibility a preliminary hearing would be unreasonably costly, or complex.

The woman is scheduled to stand trial at Court of King's Bench in December 2023.