In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously agreed that accused rapists might not use “implied consent” as a defense.
The case was brought by Alberta carpenter Steven Ewanchuck who allegedly raped a 17-year-old girl after luring her to his trailer with promises of a job interview. The girl testified that she said “no” three times, but did not try to fight off her attacker. Ewanchuck’s attorneys argued that the girl “implied consent” to have sex by failing to defend herself or to run away.
Ewanchuck, who has 3 previous rape convictions on his record, was acquitted by two lower courts before the Supreme Court overturned those rulings and convicted him. He will return to Alberta for sentencing.