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

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Hamilton Spectator

Letters to the Editor

16 July 2012

Mr. Silva will not be present today;’ Actions by Crown and defence lawyers to complete deal involved justice of the peace, police, and border services (July 13)

So, let me get this straight.

Not only does Pastor Jose Silva not appear in court to face charges. He is encouraged to not do so by the same people we entrust to uphold and prosecute the laws of the land. The Crown did not provide important information to the justice of the peace regarding Silva’s failure to appear.

It seems to be getting tougher and tougher for the police to do their job. They investigate, arrest and charge an individual. Only to have said person released by, not the courts this time, but the Crown who supposedly supports the laying of the charge initially.

God help us, we have nowhere to turn.

Allan Fraser, Hamilton

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Silva outcome alarms, deters survivors

The Hamilton Spectator

16 July 2012

Reading of the latest developments in the Jose Silva case was deeply concerning. Silva, with a serious criminal charge pending, was allowed to exit the country. When alleged offenders make a hasty exit before facing the court system you expect to learn they did so through a loophole in the system. In this case it was with an elaborate and co-ordinated effort by individuals and systems, including those that are to be proponents of a just and transparent criminal process where survivors matter. As a community we say we are concerned that sexual assault is the most under-reported crime and we wonder why more survivors do not come forward. This case is another example of how the prospect of coming forward to the criminal legal system frequently alarms and deters survivors. Imagine if the criminal system could expend the same level of energy, commitment and collaboration for the benefit of survivors.

Maria del Carmen Sarmiento, Sexual Assault Centre Hamilton and Area

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