Sexual assault charges stayed against Nova Scotia doctor

Sexual assault charges against Nova Scotia doctor Oluwarotimi (Tim) Fashoranti have been stayed by a judge as lawyers argue over whether a Crown prosecutor behaved inappropriately in her handling of the case. (CBC - image credit)
Sexual assault charges against Nova Scotia doctor Oluwarotimi (Tim) Fashoranti have been stayed by a judge as lawyers argue over whether a Crown prosecutor behaved inappropriately in her handling of the case. (CBC - image credit)

A judge has stayed sexual assault charges against a Nova Scotia doctor as lawyers argue over whether a Crown prosecutor behaved inappropriately in her handling of the case.

The doctor is Oluwarotimi (Timothy) Fashoranti, who has practised in the Amherst area. Three women have accused him of sexual assault.

The attorney is Mary Ellen Nurse. She prosecuted Fashoranti in an earlier case involving a fourth complainant.

That trial ended abruptly in October 2021 when Nurse told the court that there was no longer any realistic prospect of conviction.

In 2004, before she became a Crown prosecutor, Nurse represented another woman who accused Fashoranti of sexual assault. That woman is identified in court documents by the initials KT.

Fashoranti's lawyer argues conflict of interest

Stan MacDonald, Fashoranti's lawyer, said Nurse's previous involvement in a case against his client puts her in a conflict of interest.

MacDonald wants the Crown to disclose all of its correspondence with police relating to the three sexual assault complaints against Fashoranti.

In a ruling released Monday but actually issued in September, Judge Alain Begin of the Nova Scotia provincial court agreed with MacDonald and ordered the Crown to disclose all its correspondence.

The Public Prosecution Service is refusing to release the information, arguing it would breach solicitor-client privilege.

Instead, prosecutors asked for a stay of the sexual assault charges and filed notice of an appeal of Begin's decision. No date has been set for an appeal hearing.

Stay to be argued next month

MacDonald is also seeking a stay of the charges, but for different reasons. He is alleging an abuse of process and excessive delay on the part of the Crown.

That stay is to be argued next month.

Fashoranti had been operating with restrictions on his licence to practice, but his licence has been suspended since November 2020 while he deals with the latest legal issues.

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