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New Trial Ordered For Man Found Not Criminally Responsible For Sex Assault

Discussion in 'News, Politics & Debates' started by batgirl, Sep 28, 2007.

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    The Manitoba Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial for a former soldier who was found not criminally responsible for a home invasion sex assault based on his claim of suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. Roger Borsch is “very disappointed” by the decision and will seek to appeal it to the Supreme Court of Canada, defence lawyer Greg Brodsky said outside court this morning. “He’s not holding up very well at all. This is an awful lot of tension for him,” he said.

    Borsch, 35, was spared criminal sanctions for the 2004 attack after the trial judge ruled that his mind had been affected by horrific killings he claims to have witnessed a decade earlier in Bosnia. It was the first time a Canadian soldier successfully used PTSD as a defence. Crown attorney Don Knight had told the Appeal Court there is little evidence the events Borsch described in Bosnia ever occurred and the judge was wrong to accept his claims.

    Knight pointed out that Borsch has given different versions of his story to psychiatrists over the years. And he said the military has no written records of the events, which Borsch has said include the death of a young Bosnian girl who came upon a landmine at a military checkpoint. “This is what we hoped for. The Crown’s position at trial is that he didn’t suffer PTSD. And even if he did, that was no excuse,” Knight said outside court.

    Borsch testified at his trial last year that it was normal for soldiers not to file reports on killings in the field, including an incident at a small house where Borsch said he came upon a man sexually assaulting a young girl and shot him dead. His lawyer agreed there are inconsistencies in how Borsch has recounted what happened, but said it is to be expected based on the trauma he experienced.

    At the time of the assault, Borsch was working as a jail guard in The Pas. He admitted to breaking into a home, taping a 13-year-old girl’s mouth shut and then attacking her at knifepoint. The girl eventually managed to free herself and scream for help. Borsch testified he only remembered waking up hours later in a canoe with no paddles on the Saskatchewan River.

    After he was found not responsible, Borsch spent several months in a psychiatric hospital. He was released last December with conditions. Borsch was granted bail today with the consent of the Crown. He will be under a nightly curfew, must abstain from drugs and alcohol and have no contact with the victim.

    Source: Mike McIntyre, Winnipeg Free Press
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