The front page of today’s Toronto Star is a feature article and photo of Mandi Gray. The headline reads “Putting A Price on Rape..Mandi Gray could have shared her trauma with the court. She opted to share her bills instead“.
Kudos to Mandi Gray for eliminating the publication ban and coming out so courageously. This is a huge step forward in rape and sexual assault cases. Fantastic display of strength which we certainly admire.
In case you don’t know much about this case, Mandi Gray is a PhD student at York University. The accused, Mustafa Uruyar was in her program as well. At a party/get together at a bar on Bloor St. in Toronto, both Gray and Uruyar left the bar and headed back to Uruyar’s place.
The Court found that Mandi Gray was raped by Mustafa Ururyar. Mr. Ururyar was convicted and sentenced to the maximum for a summary crime of 18 months in prison, plus up to three years parole. It’s customary in these types for the victim to prepare a Victim Impact Statement to be read aloud in the Courtroom, just before sentencing.
We see these Victim Impact Statements whenever there is a victim of a crime who we can identify and who agrees to share their/thoughts/feelings with the Court. Not all victims have the courage to share Victim Impact Statements. Personal Injury Lawyers see these Victim Impact Statements frequently in drunk driving, violent assault and sexual assault cases. These statements can be relied upon later in the course of the civil proceeding/personal injury case.
Victim Impact Statements can be very emotional. For some, it’s a chance to have their voice heard, unfettered by the Court and cross examination from another lawyer. You can say what you want. But for others, it’s a wasted exercise. The damage is already done. There is no use in speaking or providing a statement. It will only re-hash bad memories. What good will come of it.
Mandi Gray’s Victim Impact Statement was short and to the point. It contained three bills. The first was for 36 psychotherapy sessions totalling $3,770. The second was a bill for $3,453 for legal work paid by Legal Aid to defend her in a Pre-Trial Application. The third was for $10,735 for legal fees which Ms. Gray paid out of her own pocket.
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