Canadian celebrity radio host charged with sexual assault

Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:32pm EST
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By Andrea Hopkins

TORONTO (Reuters) - A celebrity radio host was charged with multiple counts of sexual assault on Wednesday in a scandal that has grabbed Canada's media spotlight.

Jian Ghomeshi, 47, former host of the internationally syndicated music and arts program Q on Canadian Broadcasting Corp radio, surrendered to police and was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one of choking, Toronto police said.

His lawyer said Ghomeshi would plead not guilty to the charges.

Ghomeshi was released on bail of C$100,000 ($88,645) after a brief court appearance. He was ordered to surrender his passport and live with his mother in the city's north end.

Surrounded by police, Ghomeshi walked through a crush of reporters outside the courthouse without speaking to anyone and sped off in a car with his lawyer.

"Mr. Ghomeshi will be pleading not guilty. We will address these allegations fully, directly in a courtroom," Marie Henein, his lawyer, said in a statement to reporters. "It is not my practice to litigate my cases in the media. This one will be no different."

The charges follow a month-long police investigation into allegations that Ghomeshi, a former folk-rock musician who is a household name in Canada, sexually assaulted and harassed several women.

On Tuesday, Ghomeshi dropped a C$55 million ($48.95 million) lawsuit against his former employer for wrongful dismissal and said he would pay the legal costs.   Continued...

Canadian celebrity radio host Jian Ghomeshi leaves court after getting bail on multiple counts of sexual assault in Toronto November 26, 2014.  REUTERS/Peter Power