National Post

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March 2, 2001

Hanky-spanky

National Post

When asked if sex was dirty, Woody Allen once replied, "Only if it is done right." Sheldon Pinx thought he was doing it right when his lover wanted a spanking. She suggested a wooden chair leg as a bottom paddler. He agreed but, it turns out, he ought to have deprived her of the attention she desired. At least, that seems to be the conclusion Judge Winston Norton of the Manitoba provincial court arrived at this week when the Winnipeg man was handed a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to assault causing bodily harm.

Mr. Pinx's troubles began in March, 1995, when his inamorata went to her doctor, who noticed widespread welts and bruising on her backside. When it was suggested she go to the police, Mr. Pinx's lover said no. But two years later, after the couple had broken up, police began investigating Mr. Pinx based on information from the woman's doctor. Mr. Pinx was charged with a long string of offences, including sexual assault.

All charges were dropped except assault causing bodily harm. Based on a 1991 Supreme Court ruling that said people cannot consent to having bodily harm inflicted upon them, Mr. Pinx had no alternative but to plead guilty.

So the state has still not quite adhered to Pierre Trudeau's injunction to withdraw from the bedrooms of the nation. Perhaps John Barrymore was right when he said sex is the "thing that takes up the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble."

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