Silva: Father Jose Silva

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Jose Silva

José Gildásico de Sousa Silva

Native of Brazil:  Diocese of Oeiras, Brazil.  Ordained 2003.  Allegedly serving in Diocese of Hamilton, Ontario since October 2009. September 2011 charged with the 18 September 2011 sexual assault of 18-year-old boy.

He is now a fugitive.  Sometime prior to his 09 May 2012 court-date Father Silva fled Canada for Brazil.  As unbelievable as it sounds, the assistant Crown attorney aided his exodus.  A deal was  struck between defence and Crown allowing Silva to leave the country on condition he not return – if he returns he will be arrested.

A WARRANT HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR FATHER SILVA’S ARREST.(But, …thanks to the Ontario Crown who brokered a very sweet deal with Silva’s lawyer, Father Silva is safely tucked away in Brazil and well beyond the arm of Canadian law)



(Scroll down for MEDIA coverage)

April 2013: Letter from the Honourable Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice) to Michael James Fitzgerald

Letters to the Ontario Attorney General re the Father Jose Silva “sweet deal

April 2013:  Letter from the Office of the Ontario Attorney General to Michael Fitzgerald re Father Jose Silva ( “The Ministry  will not be making  any further  comment  on this matter”)

18 October 2012:  Letter from Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to Mike Fitzgerald in response to Mike’s letter of 10 October 2012

10 October 2012:   Letter from Mike Fitzgerald to Nicholson

10 October 2012:  Letter from Mike Fitzgerald to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty


Next court date:  20 July  2012:  10 am, Hamilton court house, Hamilton, Ontario; 09 May 2012:  FAILED TO APPEAR); 26 January 2012:  Hamilton court house – to set next court date for next appearance17 November 2011, bail hearing, Hamilton court house, Hamilton, Ontario10 November 2011. Hamilton court house, Hamilton, Ontario; 13 October 2011 (adjourned)

File # 11-7176


MEDIA coverage

16 March 2013: Nothing new on probe into Crown’s deal with priest

10 October 2012: Ministry continues to probe deal that let priest avoid sex charge

10 October 2012: Ministry continues to probe deal that let priest avoid sex charge

03 August 2012: Spectator Exclusive: Hamilton prosecutor at the centre of controversial cases

01 August 2012:  Letters to Ed. re Father Jose Silva’s ‘sweet deal’

28 July 2012: Silva case damages respect for courts

25 July 2012: Could Crown and defence face charges?

23 July 2012: ‘Priest dumping’ case troubling

17 July 2012: SILVA CASE: ‘Out of sight, out of mind’

16 July 2012: “Crown didn’t tell court full story” & “Silva outcome alarms, deters survivors”

13 July 2012: ‘Mr. Silva will not be present today’

12 July 2012:  “Critic: Citizens deserve answers in Silva case” & other relevant articles

12 July 2012: Accused priest: ‘He should have been prosecuted’

12 July 2012:  ‘I feel he should have been prosecuted’

11 July 2012: Going inside the Silva ‘flee’ deal

10 July 2012:  Priest with sexual assault charge in Brazil

10 July 2012: Warrant issued for fugitive Hamilton priest

10 November 2011: Priest headed for bail hearing

13 October 2011: Hamilton priest charged with sex assault resigns post

12 October 2011: October Hamilton Diocese press release re Fathere Jose Silva

23 September 2011: Hamilton Diocese Press Release re charges against Father Jose Silva


Bishops of Hamilton Diocese since Jose Silva’s arrival in 2009:  Anthony Frederick Tonnos (02 May 1984 – 24 September 2010); David Douglas Crosby, omi (24 September 2010  – )

Bishop of Oeiras Diocese BrazilJuarez Sousa Da Silva (27 February 2008- ); Bishop Augusto Alves da Rocha (24 October 2001 – 27 February 2008)



18 September 2011: allegations of sex assault

2011:  pastor at St. Mary Roman Catholic Church (Portugese), Park St. North, Hamilton, Ontario.  Shown as incaridnated outside Canada but serving in Canada (CCCD)

01 October 2009:  started serving in Hamilton Diocese (Diocese)

2010:  not listed in directory (CCCD)

08 February 2003:  ORDAINED

22 September 1977:  DOB


City priest faces sex assault charge

Hamilton Spectator

24 September 2011

A Hamilton Catholic priest has been charged with sexual assault.

Father Jose Silva, 34, a popular parish priest at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on Park Street North for the past two years, was arrested by Hamilton police Thursday afternoon.

Silva, who appeared in Hamilton court for a bail hearing Friday morning, is charged with sexual assault following a complaint about an incident during a festival held in the church courtyard Sept. 18.

He was released on a surety and will return to court Oct. 13.

Sergeant Terri-Lynn Collings said the investigation and arrest followed a complaint by an 18-year-old youth playing in a band booked at a festival in the church courtyard. At about 6:30 p.m., while the band was on a break, Collings said a priest struck up a conversation about him playing guitar. The young man was invited to the priest’s residence on the parish property, to see a guitar.

“Out of respect, the man went with the priest,” Collings said. “While he was with the priest, it is alleged he was sexually assaulted.”

Collings said the young man was able to leave unharmed and immediately called police.

Silva was arrested while on duty, but away from the church.

Collings said police are not aware of any other complaints, but the incident is still under investigation.

José Gildásico de Sousa Silva, a native of Brazil, has worked in Hamilton since October 2009. He was ordained on Feb. 8, 2003.

The Diocese of Hamilton is “shocked and distressed,” to learn of the arrest, said Monsignor Vincent Kerr, chancellor of the diocese.

“He is a young, popular and enthusiastic priest who has come to us from Brazil to serve the needs of the Portuguese-speaking community in the City of Hamilton,” Kerr said in a statement. Silva came to Hamilton with “appropriate recommendations” from his Brazilian bishop and “there have been only compliments about the quality of his work during his time with us.”


Hamilton police charge priest in sexual assault of man, 18, during church event

National Post

24 September 2011 Last Updated: Sept. 24, 2011 4:06 AM ET

The Hamilton Police Service has charged a priest with sexual assault after an alleged encounter with a teenage Brampton musician last Sunday. The 18-year-old musician was part of a band that was providing the entertainment during a festival in the courtyard of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Hamilton’s north end. Hamilton police say that during one of the band’s breaks, at approximately 6: 30 p.m., the parish priest, Father Jose Silva, invited the band member to his residence nearby to look at a guitar he owned. “Out of respect, the man went with the priest,” a police statement says. “While the man was with the priest he was sexually assaulted.

The victim was able to leave the home unharmed and immediately contacted police to report what had happened.” The musician’s name is banned from publication. Police investigated the incident and on Thursday arrested the 34-year-old priest.


Hamilton priest charged with sexual assault

Toronto Star

Fri Sep 23 2011

A Hamilton priest has been charged with sexually assaulting an 18-year-old Brampton man during a church festival.

It’s alleged that the Catholic priest drew the man aside during a break in the festival, which happened on Sunday, and struck up a conversation. The priest, police say, then invited the man back to his house.

The man went with him “out of respect,” according to a police news release, and was sexually assaulted.

The incident happened at St. Mary’s Catholic Parish on Park St. N. in Hamilton’s north end.

Jose Silva, 34, is charged with sexual assault.


Hamilton priest charged with sex assault of 18-year-old man

680 News

Sep 23, 2011 11:20:10 AM

HAMILTON, Ont. – A Catholic priest in Hamilton has been charged with sexual assault.

The alleged victim is an 18-year-old man from Brampton, Ont.

Police said the alleged assault happened during a festival in the courtyard of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hamilton last Sunday. The victim was a member of a band performing at the event.

Police said the priest invited the band member back to his residence on parish property to look at a guitar he owned, and that’s when the assault happened.

The young man left the home and immediately called police.

Jose Silva, 34, has been charged with one count of sexual assault.


Local Catholic Priest charged with Sexual Assault

Hamilton Police Service website

23 September 2011 

The Hamilton Police Service has arrested and charged a local Catholic priest after investigating allegations of sexual assault that happened at a parish in the North End of Hamilton.

On Sunday, September 18th, 2011, the St. Mary’s Catholic parish located on Park St. N. held a festival in their courtyard.  A band from the Toronto area was the entertainment for the event.

It is alleged that at approximately 6:30 p.m., while the band was on a break, the parish priest, Jose SILVA, approached one of the band members and struck up a conversation with him about playing guitar.   The band member, an 18 yr. old man from Brampton, was invited back to the priest’s residence, a home on the parish property, to look at a guitar he owned.  Out of respect, the man went with the priest.  While the man was with the priest he was sexually assaulted.  The victim was able to leave the home unharmed and immediately contacted police to report what had happened.

The Hamilton Police Service Victims of Crime Unit continued to investigate and on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 at approximately 1:30 p.m., arrested Jose SILVA.  He was held for a bail hearing scheduled for today.

Charged:    Jose SILVA, 34 (m) of Hamilton
Charges:    Sexual Assault

                                           – 30-

Media Inquiries:
Sgt. Terri-Lynn Collings
Hamilton Police Service
Media Relations

33 Responses to Silva: Father Jose Silva

  1. jon smith says:

    When does a boy become a man?

  2. Sylvia says:

    Good question jon smith. I think most parents would say an 18-year-old is a ‘boy’ – not a ‘man.’

  3. Sylvia says:

    I’ve been looking for definitions. The dictionary defines a man as “an adult male human being.”

    So, what’s an adult?

    Here’s what I find on


    An adult in Canada is a person who has reached the age of majority. The age of majority in Canada is determined by each province and territory in Canada.

    age of majority

    Definition: The age of majority in Canada is the age at which a person is considered by law to be an adult. A person younger than the age of majority is considered a “minor child.”

    The age of majority in Canada is determined by each province and territory in Canada.

    The age of majority in the individual provinces and territories of Canada is

    Alberta – 18
    British Columbia – 19
    Manitoba – 18
    New Brunswick – 19
    Newfoundland and Labrador – 19
    Northwest Territories – 19
    Nova Scotia – 19
    Nunavut – 19
    Ontario – 18
    Prince Edward Island – 18
    Quebec – 18
    Saksatchewan – 18
    Yukon Territory – 19

  4. jon smith says:

    So, in Ontario, this “boy” is in fact a man – calling him a boy only confuses this issue!
    Language is powerful and should not be misused!

  5. Sylvia says:

    So, if the 18-year-old “man” in Ontario goes to, let’s say, New Brunswick, he instantly becomes a boy? And, if the 18-year-old boy in New Brunswick goes to Ontario he instantly becomes a boy?

    You don’t really believe that, do you Jon smith?

    I certainly don’t.

    I posted the info I found on because it strikes me as a little bizarre that, according to that particular website, the province or territory in which a boy lives will dictate when he becomes a man.

    I think that’s a bit ridiculous, don’t you?

  6. Realty Checker says:

    Silva’s court date has been adjourned to November 10th – heard it on the radio yesterday.

  7. Sylvia says:

    A belated thanks Realty Checker. I have updated the Legal Calendar accordingly – did so right after you blogged.

  8. Mike Blum says:

    There was an article in the Hamilton Spectatoe last week about Silva’s court appearance, he was not present but was represented by lawyer Dean Paquette.
    It said he is to appear for a bail hearing next week although it did not give the date. I would guess he must have some type of backing because his lawyer is about as expensive as they get, he is very well known in this area.

  9. Sylvia says:

    Thanks for that Mike. I got the article and have posted it. The bail hearing is set for 17 November 2011. I will get the time tomorrow.

    Here’s the article:

    10 November 2011: Priest headed for bail hearing

  10. Sylvia says:

    Has anyone heard what happened in court yesterday? Did he get bail? Is see nothing in the media, at least not yet.

    I tried to find out – got an answering machine and won’t be here for a call back so didn’t leave a message.

  11. Sylvia says:

    Father Jose Silva’s next court date is 26 January 2012 in the Hamilton Ontario court house. This date is to select the next court date.

  12. Glen says:

    When I was eighteen if another man tried to sexually assault me neither of us would leave unharmed. Although the Church handles it differently, people are innocent until proven guilty in this country. Many allegations of this type are nothing more than an opportunist trying to hit a big pay-day.

    If this allegation is proven true in the court then it will not be a case of pedophilia, rather homosexual assault.

    An eighteen year old can vote, get a full time job, go to war, and in some provinces buy a beer. That doesn’t sound like things a boy can do.

  13. jon smith says:


    You are right on! The calling him a “boy” is just plain wrong – it is truly the advancing of an agenda. It has to be named!!!!

  14. JG says:

    An eighteen year old who can buy beer, get killed at war or vote in a “system” he doesn’t understand then start paying taxes on a minimum salary in a job “reserved” for the young…is just conveniently being used by the people in power! THEY have an “agenda”!…

    Anyone who is so worried about dissecting so conveniently at what age a boy all of a sudden is a man, do have their own agenda as well…

    “Money is the only reason…”, …”kids are not so innocent…”
    Please stop recycling “that” agenda… There can’t be anymore room left in that closet!


  15. Michel Bertrand says:

    When does a priest become a responsible adult and not make advances towards a young man. Given his choice and vocation I think that the older male in a position of trust and responsibility should have known better than to make advances towards this young man. The trouble he is in was brought onto him by his actions and not that of the young man. If he wanted to be sexually active as a man towards a man he should have never become a priest. I believe he led with his chin in this matter and it is his own fault notwithstanding the young man’s decision to call the police. If this was my 18 year old daughter and she did not want that kind of attention it would still be a sexual assault against her person, his being a young man makes no difference what is important here is that he did not want to be sexually involved and that he was assaulted period.

  16. Sylvia says:

    Father Jose Silva’s next court date is 20 July 2012: 10 am, Hamilton Ontario court house

  17. Mike Blum says:


  18. Sylvia says:

    Thanks Mike and reality Checker.  I have posted the article: 10 July 2012: Warrant issued for fugitive Hamilton priest

    Does anyone have a picture of Father Silva?  If yes, would you please send it to me so that can post and let people know what he looks like.

    Why do they let these men out on bail?  Enough have bolted that judges and lawyer  should know better than to take the chance.  The prosecutor in the Monsignor William Lynnh case knew the risk and managed to ensure that Lynn will stay behind bars until his sentencing hearing.

    Does anyone know if the warrant is Canada wide? and does anyone  know if he had to turn in his passport?  If he was out on bail WITH his passport he is probably hunkered in in some country which does not have an extradition treaty with Canada.

    This doesn`t do much to prove his professed innocence does it? I feel for the complainant.  Keep him in your thoughts and prayers

  19. Sylvia says:

    Look at this: 10 July 2012:  Priest with sexual assault charge in Brazil

    `Prominent defence lawyer Dean Paquette said his client left Hamilton in early May as part of a resolution he negotiated with assistant Crown attorney Carey Lee.`

    The assistant Crown actually helped him to flee the country?

    This is a mockery of justice.  An outright and total mockery.

  20. Keltin Q says:

    *At 18 you’re no longer a boy!  Come on. At  18 he knew what was happening and if he didn’t punch the priest in the head, he was consenting. 

  21. PJ says:

    Keltin Q: Sometimes shock and disbelief freezes someone from responding at that moment. Just because he didn’t punch the priest doesn’t mean he consented. Give your head a shake, moron.

  22. Michel says:

    ummmmmm thats rich..He should have assaulted the priest after being assaulted…In my world..if myself or my children get assaulted I direct them to bring charges of assault to the authorities..I do not recommend the caveman route of plucking out the other guys eye. So abused women should sit and wait while the abusive husband sleeps and bonk him on the head with a hammer according to the proposal by KQ. Poor priest can’t rape and pillage like they use to ..holy cow they may be subject to law just like the rest of us..go figure..and they should be!!!

  23. Sylvia says:

    Keltin Q

    The complainant did NOT consent.  He got out of there.  The following is from 12 July 2012: Accused priest: ‘He should have been prosecuted’:

    The complainant, who doesn’t live in Hamilton, was attending a
    festival at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, a predominantly Portuguese
    parish where Silva had been serving for the previous two years. He was a
    member of a Portuguese orchestra performing at the event. At one point,
    he said, Silva invited him into his residence, near the church, to
    perform a song on a guitar.

    The complainant said he was surprised when Silva locked the front
    door and office door behind him. He said Silva first played a YouTube
    video of the song before asking him to perform it on the guitar.

    He claims Silva touched him on the leg and groin area, asking if he
    was OK with the touching. He said he was not. The alleged assault
    stopped when the teen received a call on his cellphone. The youth let on
    that the call was from a fellow band member and he needed to return to
    the festival area immediately. He said Silva let him go, but only after
    getting him to agree not to disclose the incident.


  24. cantfindaloginname says:

    Guilty until proven innocent strikes again. Where are the follow up stories that he was innocent of the charges?

  25. John says:

    cantfindaloginname………………Re-read all of the comments on this thread and you will find that not one person posting has said that he is guilty.

    What has you so up at arms?

    John MacDonald

  26. PJ says:

    John: Obviously cantfindaloginname is either a collar or one of the blind sheep. Typical response when a collar appears in the list, we should be used to the morons by now eh?

  27. John says:

    Below is an e-mail that I sent to Ontario’s Attorney General concerning Asst. Crown Carey Lee and the deal given to Father Jose Silva. I sent this e-mail on Jan. 28th and I recieved a response today (Feb. 11). I think that I can honestly say that this is one of the quickest non-reply replies that I have ever recieved. The non-reply will be posted seperately…….

    The Right Honourable John Gerretsen:

    I am re-sending an e-mail that was previously sent on August 6th of last year. At the end of this e-mail I finished with “Anticipating your reply”. Re-reading this e-mail upon having not recieved a reply to date I see that I have not asked any direct question to warrant a reply. Having heard no word out of the Attorney General’s office regarding any “internal investigation” results I would have to assume that either the investigation is still ongoing or that no action is being taken with regards to Assistant Crown Carey Lee’s actions.

    With no word forthcoming from your office in six months, I feel that I have no choice but to swear a private information charge against Mr. Lee under section 139 (1) -of the Criminal Code: Obstructing Justice…”Every one who wilfully attempts in any manner to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice in a judicial proceeding.”

    I am requesting information on how to go about swearing a public information charge against Mr. Lee.

    Thank you for your attention, and antcipating your reply,

    John MacDonald

    • Sylvia says:

      Well done John!

      I have posted the email John received as a pdf file here: 11 February 2013: AG(Assistant Deputy AG James Cormish) Response to John MacDonald re Father Silva

      Note everyone that the sweet deal which Father Silva received from the Crown is presumably “not common practice” and that the Ministry is reviewing the case. We are waiting.

      I don’t think you were asking for legal assistance, were you John? I saw your request as that of a layman asking how to go about swearing a public information charge against Mr, Lee? Surely asking for policy and procedure doesn’t constitute asking for legal assistance? or, does it?

  28. John says:

    The procedure for swearing a private or public information charge is information that is readily available on the Attorney General’s webpage, this I already knew prior to sending the aforementioned e-mail. Below I have copied the information from the AG’s webage…..

    “Generally, allegations of criminal activity are reported to the police. After the police investigate, they may lay criminal charges. However, anyone who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed an offence may lay an information in writing and under oath before a Justice of the Peace.
    When the information is presented to the court by a private citizen, it is then referred to either a provincial court judge or a designated justice of the peace, who holds a special hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether a summons or warrant should be issued to compel the person to attend court and answer to the charge.
    This hearing, held under s. 507.1 of the Criminal Code, takes place in private, without notice to the accused person. At the hearing, the judge or justice of the peace must hear and consider all of the allegations and available evidence.
    The Crown must also receive a copy of the information, get notice of the hearing, and have an opportunity to attend. The Crown may attend at the hearing without being deemed to intervene in the proceedings.
    If the judge or justice of the peace decides not to issue a summons or a warrant, then the information is deemed never to have been laid.
    If the judge or justice of the peace issues a summons, the person will be served with a copy of the summons, which notifies them of the charge and compels them to attend court. If the judge or justice of the peace issues a warrant, the person will be arrested and brought before a justice.
    To avoid any abuse of the private prosecution process, the Criminal Code and the Crown Attorneys Act authorize Crown Counsel to supervise privately laid charges to ensure that such prosecutions are in the best interest of the administration of justice. If a summons or warrant is issued and the case involves an indictable offence, the Crown is required to take over the prosecution. So, a private citizen’s right to swear an information is always subject to the Crown’s right to intervene and take over the prosecution.
    If the Crown intervenes, the Crown will review the matter, as it does in every other criminal case, to determine whether there is a reasonable prospect of conviction and whether a prosecution is in the public interest. If so, the Crown will proceed with the prosecution. If not, the Crown is duty-bound to withdraw the charge.”

    I am sure that all of you see the absurdity in this “merry-go-round” of the handiling of a private charge of obstruction of justice against a Crown. Ultimately it would end up back in the hands of another Crown. As I said, I knew this information prior to my e-mail, but I was still willing to stand in line to take this “tried and true musical ride”.
    I am only speculating, but I am sure that THEY saw the same “merry-go-round” in their reply, therefore the “no legal assistance” answer.

    John MacDonald

  29. nancy says:

    I am so annoyed with this article.
    Do your darn research.
    The person who called police and made the allegation was a woman who was NOT related to the 18yr old man. I am not saying that the priest did not indicate he was attracted to the 18yr old but in no way does it make sense that he would assault and 18yr old (for one thing the 18yr old can put up a fight and make a scene especially since this was during an event…) what was told was that he ‘came onto’ the young man in question and the young man made a joking comment about how uncomfortable he was (bet he wouldn’t have been uncomfortable boosting about being hit on by an older attractive woman). Anyway, this woman who had wanted revenge on the priest for denying the use of her business and paying her with church funds, took it upon herself and her family to start something to essentially rid the church of this priest.
    The young man did NOT want to press charges and in fact refused to take part in the court appearances and each time a court date was set he would not appear making it clear that not everything was as black as white as articles such as this one make it seem.
    This priest decided to give up his priesthood as he felt this tarnished his image and put a black mark on the church when it should never have been the case, he was humilated and hurt and went into a downward spiral of depression not knowing how to overcome this situation especially since the young man refused to make an appearance (young man is from a different city). He became suicidal as a growing number of citizens who did not know the details regarding the story began to send him hateful threats, meanwhile the family who started this all boosted about how they would not get control over the church once again.
    Don’t always assume you know the details just because you read a head-line. Nothing is every black and white. The world is full of plenty of grey. And in this case, its all grey!

  30. Sylvia says:

    First of all Nancy, charges could not have been laid if the young man did not co-operate with police. There are countless cases where priests have not been charged because a victim feared going public. I don’t agree that that’s the way it should be, but it is the way it is. You say the young man did not want to press charges. I am hard pressed to believe that police ploughed on and charged Father Silva.

    Re the young man not appearing in court. There is no reason for the complainant to appear in court until either a preliminary hearing or trial. None. I regularly attend court and have yet to see a victim of clerical sexual abuse attend any of the court proceedings which precede a preliminary hearing or trial. Tye do not have to attend and generally choose not to attend.

    You say: “what was told was that he ‘came onto’ the young man in question and the young man made a joking comment about how uncomfortable he was (bet he wouldn’t have been uncomfortable boosting about being hit on by an older attractive woman)”

    Can you explain yourself please? I assume that’s a typo and you meant to say “boasting”? If that’s the case, what do you mean by saying that he ‘boasted’ that he was assaulted by a priest?

    You denigrate the 18-year-old teen for, according to you, saying said he was “uncomfortable” after Father Silva “came onto him.” Why should an 18-year-old boy not, at the very least, have been uncomfortable? The uninvited and obviously unwanted sexual overtures, after all, came from a parish priest.

    Re Father Silva ‘giving up his priesthood.’ According to a quote from the Archdiocese of Hamilton’s 12 October 2012 Press Release “Fr. Silva has further indicated that he no longer wishes to remain in pastoral ministry in this country ….”
    The words are “…in this country…” Has Father Silva left the priesthood since his return to Brazil? There were no reports of that

    It’s unfortunate for all that Father Silva opted to run for home to Brazil rather than face the charges in court. He’s now a fugitive. That’s his choice. He could have stayed in Canada and faced his accuser in court. He did not. He ran. He’s a fugitive. Does that not put a black mark on the Church? and on the priesthood?

    The bottom line now Nancy is that, thanks to Father Silva deciding to bolt the country to elude justice justice, in this case will not be done. Unless of course Father Silva does the honorable thing and returns to Canada to face his accuser at trial?

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