Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Canada court upholds conviction in holey condom case
First Published Mar 07 2014 12:49 pm • Last Updated Mar 07 2014 12:49 pm

Toronto • Canada’s Supreme Court on Friday upheld the sexual assault conviction of a man who tricked his girlfriend into becoming pregnant by poking holes her condoms, settling a long-running case that raised questions on whether contraception deception and withholding vital information amounts to sexual assault.

Craig Jaret Hutchinson, 43, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in December 2011 for piercing his girlfriend’s condoms with a pin in 2006.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Prosecutors said Hutchinson wanted to get her pregnant because the relationship was cooling and he feared she would break up with him. The Halifax-area woman became pregnant and had an abortion, but later suffered an infection of her uterus and endured two weeks of bleeding, blood clots and severe pain, requiring treatment with antibiotics.

The case "goes to the very core of what someone consents to when they consent to have sexual relations," Prosecutor Jim Gumpert said.

In its unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court said Hutchinson deprived the woman of her ability to consent to sex.

"The accused’s condom sabotage constituted fraud ... the result that no consent was obtained," Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Thomas Cromwell wrote on behalf of the court.

"We conclude that where a complainant has chosen not to become pregnant, deceptions that deprive her of the benefit of that choice by making her pregnant, or exposing her to an increased risk of becoming pregnant by removing effective birth control, may constitute a sufficiently serious deprivation for the purposes of fraud vitiating consent," the justices wrote.

Calls to Hutchinson’s lawyer, Luke Craggs, were not immediately returned.

In January 2013, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court rejected Hutchinson’s appeal that the sentence was harsh and excessive and that the woman voluntarily consented to have sex with him.

Hutchinson was originally found not guilty of aggravated sexual assault by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in 2009.


story continues below
story continues below

That decision was overturned by the province’s Appeal Court, which ordered a new trial. He was convicted in that second trial. He has been free pending appeals.

Canada’s Supreme Court has previously touched on the issue of criminalizing the withholding of vital information with regards to sexual acts. It has ruled that, in cases involving men and women who do not inform their partners they are HIV-positive, no true consent exists.

Hilla Kerner, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers, applauded the court’s ruling Friday.

"Today’s court decision is very important. It reinforces a key element of fully informed consent of the participants of a sexual act. While he may have received consent to have sex, he betrayed her trust by undertaking that act with other deceitful motivations," she said.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.