Sex charges stayed in case of former B.C. Indigenous leader Edward John

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PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — The B.C. Prosecution Service says a stay of proceedings has been directed in the sex assault trial of former provincial cabinet minister and Indigenous leader Edward John.

The decision to halt the case in the B.C. Supreme Court in Prince George follows cross-examination of a complainant in allegations that date back to 1974.

Justice Terence Schultes called an early break in proceedings when the woman, now in her 60s, broke down in tears under questioning from John's defence lawyer.

Prosecutor Michael Klein met with the woman in an interview room and when Klein returned to the courtroom, he told Schultes the case would not proceed against 71-year-old John, who has pleaded not guilty.

The B.C. Prosecution Service says in a statement the charges have been stayed because the charge assessment standard requiring a substantial likelihood of conviction was no longer met.

John, a lawyer and hereditary chief of the Tl'azt'en Nation, was appointed to the B.C. cabinet and served as minister for the Children's Ministry in the New Democrat government between November 2000 and June 2001.

(Prince George Citizen)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2022.

Mark Nielsen, Prince George Citizen, The Canadian Press

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