Saturday, August 03, 2019

Your Ward News Sentencing Update: Make it stop already!

The victims are tired. The journalists are tired. The judge and crown attorneys are no doubt tired. I'm tired of writing about it, and heck, I think even the racists are tired. But the sentencing hearing for Your Ward News' editor James Sears, and publisher, LeRoy St. Germaine, has been delayed, yet again, while Sears is busy "absorbing all this."

I wish I was joking.

It's hard to believe that they were convicted of promoting hatred against Jews and women back in  January and have managed to drag out sentencing through April, May, and July.

Sears with supporters on April 26th (that's Gus Stefanis on the left).

Now we're into August. On the first of the month, Sears and St. Germaine were in court with every sort of excuse and delay tactic at the ready. For St. Germaine, who is Metis, the sticking point is the offer of a sentencing circle where he would have the opportunity to engage in a mediated dialogue with his victims. Justice Blouin believes that a discussion in a "controlled, thoughtful arena" would be beneficial, however, St. Germaine doesn't want to do it if he has to apologize up front.

Again, I wish I was joking.

Sears, who is now self-represented and is trying to have his case reopened, was supposed to have his affidavit and list of potential expert witnesses ready for Justice Blouin, but of course he had neither. Instead, this man who loves to hype his intelligence and wit complained that academics were very difficult to reach over the summer months and that he is not a lawyer. He (surprise!) needs more time.

Justice Blouin, who is retiring at the end of August, admits he has never dealt with an application to re-open a case, which he said is an unusual procedure. It is certainly not made any easier given Sears' decision to self-represent. In an effort to avoid another failed court appearance, Blouin gave Sears deadlines in advance to ensure all documentation is complete and submitted beforehand. He has until August 8th to submit an affidavit and obtain one from his former lawyer, Dean Embry. Sears then has until the 15th to produce a list of witnesses complete with their qualifications and what he feels they could add to the case. Court will resume on August 22nd for both Sears and St. Germaine.

Those who have been at the forefront of this case are not pleased. Lisa Kinsella said on Twitter that while she recognizes that the Judge is trying to ensure that the sentences, once they are finally handed out, cannot be contested, these delays are hurting the victims:

For Sears at least, publishing hateful rhetoric in Your Ward News is not new behaviour. In 2009, footage of Sears taken for a documentary film about his alter-ego, Dimitri the Lover, has him admitting to "banging [his] patients" and shows him harassing and groping women in downtown Toronto.

He claims that his paper acts as a "safety valve" for angry men, but in reality, it encourages more of the same hatred and objectification we have seen from Sears for decades. The victims in the Sears/St. Germaine case deserve justice, and they deserve it at more than the glacial pace we have seen so far in this sentencing hearing. It is well past time that they face the consequences of their actions, and I hope that August 22nd will bring some much needed closure and relief.

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