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A West Kelowna man appealing a prison sentence for a 2016 rape has been denied and will spend the next five years behind bars.
Jeremey Robert Czechowski was convicted of sexual assault causing bodily harm, unlawful confinement, choking with intent to enable the commission of an indictable offence, and uttering threats.
Czechowski previously appealed his conviction the same day he was handed a five-year sentence on April 5, 2019. He was subsequently granted bail, but in August 2020, received new charges of threatening a woman earlier that month.
In 2016, Czechowski choked a woman, whose name is protected under a publication ban, as he violently sexually assaulted her at least three times over the course of two hours. The accused’s position was that he had consensual sex with the woman, despite her claims otherwise.
The Kelowna Capital News previously reported that Czechowski had appeared in Vancouver court in June to appeal the conviction.
He sought a new trial on all counts, alleging B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Ball erred on seven grounds during the trial.
On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the Court of Appeal of British Columbia in Vancouver announced Czechowski’s appeal from conviction was dismissed.
Czechowski claimed Ball erred in multiple ways during the trial including submitting evidence of the complainant’s sexual history without a hearing, relying on non-expert opinion regarding PTSD and psychosis, failing to conduct a proper analysis, failing to provide adequate reasons for rejecting evidence and more.
In the appeal decision, Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon said regardless of the errors, the conviction would have been the same.
She said the degree of injuries the victim sustained, as well as the victim’s interaction with police immediately after leaving the residence, “are inconsistent with consensual sex.”
“The judge erred by admitting and relying on expert evidence beyond the expert’s qualifications and by relying on a prior consistent statement to bolster the complainant’s credibility. Although the errors were serious and prejudicial to the appellant, the conviction is upheld under the curative proviso: the remaining evidence against the appellant on the issue of consent would inevitably result in conviction on a retrial,” reads the Sept. 13 decision by Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon.
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