His Majesty the King v. Christopher James Kruk

(British Columbia) (Criminal) (By Leave)

(Publication ban in case)


Criminal law - Trial - Criminal law — Trial — Judgments — Sexual assault — Whether the Court of Appeal erred in concluding the trial judge impermissibly relied upon speculative reasoning in assessing the complainant’s reliability — Whether the error committed by the Court of Appeal in this case raises two related issues of public importance: (1) whether credibility-based sexual assault prosecutions involving intoxication or other reliability concerns attract heightened evidentiary requirements; and (2) what principles govern when distinguishing between legitimate inferences and speculation.


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The complainant was intoxicated, and eventually passed out or fell asleep in the respondent’s bedroom. She testified that she woke up to find the respondent on top of her with his penis inside her vagina. The respondent denied having sex with the complainant. The respondent was convicted of sexual assault. The Court of Appeal allowed the respondent’s appeal, set aside the conviction, and ordered a new trial.