National Post

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Tuesday, November 02, 1999

Woman who kicked teen 'down there' cuts a deal
Charge withdrawn, kicker agrees to avoid contact with catcaller
Chris Eby
National Post

An assault charge against a woman accused of kicking a teenager in the groin after he made lewd remarks to her was dropped yesterday.

Corinne Branigan, 30, dubbed the "Kickin' Vixen" by the local media, was charged in July with assaulting Jason Batisse, 18, who, along with a group of friends, taunted the woman while she was on her way to a laundromat near her Parkdale home.

Ms. Branigan has signed a peace bond in exchange for the charge being withdrawn, agreeing to stay out of trouble and avoid contact with Mr. Batisse.

"We all think of this as a cinematic moment, a sort of woman's vengeance, but it isn't," said Jeffrey Neiman, Ms. Branigan's lawyer.

"She's pretty upset with the media. She doesn't think of herself as a hero and doesn't want to represent any causes."

Ms. Branigan, who was hailed as a feminist hero by some commentators, ignored reporters as she rushed out of the Old City Hall after her court appearance.

At an earlier court date, the aspiring actress told the National Post she hates the nickname "Kickin' Vixen," and is horrified at the prospect of being remembered as a "nut-kicker."

Ms. Branigan never denied kicking Mr. Batisse, who said he felt he was the "laughingstock of the city" when it was reported he ran home to his mother cupping his swollen genitals in his hands.

The high school student said he believes he did the right thing by pressing charges.

Most other people would have "given her a knock to the head," he said.

The teenager's mother also came to his defence, maintaining she brought him up well and that women have no right to hit men "down there."

According to a statement of facts read into the court record, a group of 17 teenage boys made lewd remarks to Ms. Branigan as she walked down Roncesvalles Avenue with a pile of laundry.

While in the laundromat, her anger rose and when she came out the catcalls continued. She approached the teenagers and kicked Mr. Batisse in the genitals.

Mr. Batisse said he had to threaten the five-foot-five, 118-pound Ms. Branigan with a broken beer bottle to get her away.

Neither he nor his mother could be reached for comment yesterday.

Mr. Neiman said he had mixed feelings about yesterday's outcome.

"I'm happy there are no criminal consequences for her and she didn't have to admit to doing anything, but in my view she shouldn't have been charged in the first place," he said.

"The alleged victim admitted he threatened her with a broken beer bottle. If Ms. Branigan was charged, he should have been charged as well."

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