Kingsley Yianomah Quartey v. Her Majesty the Queen

(Alberta) (Criminal) (As of Right)

(Publication ban in case)


Criminal law - Evidence - Criminal law - Sexual assault - Evidence - Credibility - Whether trial judge misconstrued his judicial function - Whether trial judge impermissibly relied on generalizations about how people behave or are expected to behave in his assessment of credibility.


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The appellant was convicted of sexual assault. He appealed his conviction, arguing that the trial judge erred in his credibility analysis, shifted the burden of proof to the appellant to prove his innocence, and applied impermissible stereotypes in rejecting the appellant’s evidence. A majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal. It was of the view that the trial judge did not apply stereotypes or shift the burden of proof, and that his credibility assessment could be reasonably supported by the record and should not be interfered with on appeal. Berger J.A., dissenting, would have allowed the appeal, quashed the conviction and ordered a new trial. In his opinion, the trial judge’s reasons revealed a reliance upon generalizations, which resulted in an infection of the reasoning process.