Ghomeshi sexual assault trial to continue in Toronto

TORONTO - The sexual assault trial of former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi continues today in a Toronto courtroom.

The 48-year-old Ghomeshi has pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault, and one count of overcome resistance by choking.

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He acknowledged in 2014 that he engaged in rough sex acts, but said it was consensual.

Court heard Monday that two of his accusers discussed their allegations of sexual assault against the former broadcaster in thousands of messages they exchanged before and after they went to police.

A woman who testified that Ghomeshi bit her shoulder and put his hands around her neck as they were making out in a Toronto park, initially said that while she was friends with another complainant, they never discussed the specifics of the allegations.

But during cross-examination, Ghomeshi's lawyer said the woman, who can not be identified, exchanged 5,000 messages with "Trailer Park Boys" actress Lucy DeCoutere, who testified Ghomeshi choked her and repeatedly slapped her.

The woman also said she didn't tell police that she'd had a sexual encounter with Ghomeshi after the alleged assault because she was embarrassed, and acknowledged she was deliberately misleading.

Defence lawyer Marie Henein told court the two women began exchanging messages on Oct. 29, 2014 - the same day DeCoutere went public with her allegations - and continued until September 2015.

Henein then began quoting snippets of conversations between the two women, explaining that in the lead-up to the trial, the woman would "report in" to DeCoutere after any significant exchange with detectives or the Crown.

The lawyer also noted that DeCoutere urged the woman to use her own lawyer and publicist.


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