Calgary Sun

Tuesday, June 29, 1999

Ewanchuk appeal bid quashed


EDMONTON -- An Edmonton man convicted of sexual assault by the Supreme Court of Canada lost his second bid for a new trial yesterday.

Steve Ewanchuk, 50, had applied to have his case reopened because he wanted to testify about his mistaken belief that there was consent by the 17-year-old girl he assaulted during a 1994 job interview.

Defence lawyer Brian Beresh had the same application rejected by the Supreme Court in May.

Beresh argued yesterday that the implied consent defence was accepted by two Alberta courts.

However, the high-profile lawyer said the Supreme Court ruled that that defence was non-existent when it threw out the two Alberta acquittals on Feb. 25.

Beresh accused the Supreme Court of saying, "Here's a new rule. Sorry, you lose," in its decision and questioned the justice of it.

Crown prosecutor Bart Rosborough argued that a decision to grant a new trial was out of the jurisdiction of a Court of Queen's Bench judge. Justice John Moore rejected the application.

Moore also rejected a Crown bid to have Ewanchuk locked up pending his sentencing.

The next step is to proceed with a Crown application to have Ewanchuk declared a dangerous offender, which could see him jailed indefinitely.

Ewanchuk was convicted of sexual assault in 1989 and rape three times in the early 1970s.

Copyright© 1999, Canoe Limited Partnership.