Michael Sean Myers. (Facebook)

Michael Sean Myers. (Facebook)

Chilliwack jury acquits man of choking, violent sexual assaults of girlfriends

Michael Sean Myers found guilty of criminal harassment and uttering threats in BC Supreme Court

A man accused of violently raping two girlfriends, criminally harassing one of them, and threatening a male was found not guilty of the substantive charges by a jury in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Friday.

The eight women and four men found Michael Sean Myers guilty of the criminal harassment of one woman, whose name cannot be printed due to a publication ban. The jury also found Myers guilty of uttering threats to a male connected to one of the women.

But the jury concluded there was a reasonable doubt that Myers forcibly had anal intercourse with a woman who was left injured by the act. He was charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm for that incident.

He was also charged with sexual assault and choking to overcome resistance of a second woman. Crown alleged that Myers choked that woman to unconsciousness in order to have intercourse with her.

He was found not guilty on the three substantive charges, a decision that surprised the choking victim after the verdict was read on Dec. 14.

“I am shocked that they found him not guilty on all the serious charges,” she told The Progress Monday. “I don’t understand how someone could keep hurting woman like he does, and keep getting away with it.”

There were prior allegations about Myers’ past behaviour towards women, most of which was information the jury was not allowed to hear. They also did not hear that Myers was scheduled in court this week to plead guilty to assault and other charges connected to a woman in Abbotsford.

“I think that the Crown counsel on this case did an excellent job, despite the verdict,” the alleged victim said. “[Myers] got to get up on that stand and lie over and over again, but I wasn’t allowed to show the jury evidence that he lied, and there was a lot of stuff I wasn’t allowed to tell the jury.

“I am angry that he gets to get out of jail and just keep hurting woman again.”

• RELATED: Sexual assault victims often decide against giving rape kits to police: study

The case dates back to 2015, and provided a challenging decision for the jury to make as the women alleged the violent behaviour took place during consensual intercourse. Myers claimed the women consented to the intercourse, they said they did not. The withdrawal of consent principle is such that just because someone consents to sexual activity, that doesn’t mean they can’t say “no” during the intercourse or when it changes.

Juries do not give reasons why they come to any particular conclusion, but given the complex nature of the charges and the lesser included charge on one count, and the “he said/she said” nature of the witness testimony, it’s clear they came to a consensus there was reasonable doubt on the consent matter.

On the choking matter, Myers claimed it was erotic asphyxiation consented to by the woman.

As for the criminal harassment, the jury went through hundreds of text messages and heard testimony that Myers watched the victim’s house at times, even showed up at an encounter she had with someone else at restaurant and poured a drink over her head.

Crown counsel Henry Waldock painted a picture of a man who frequently lied, to the police, to women, and to the court.

“Whatever truth that works for him right now is the one that he is going to deliver,” Waldock told the jury in closing arguments.

Defence asked that if Myers abused his victim as they claimed, why then did she keep going back to him after they broke up?

But Waldock countered that victims of abuse, from schoolyard bully situations to spousal relationships, often return to their abusers for various psychological and/or practical reasons.

On the issue of consent and the alleged crimes, there has to be intent in the mind of the accused. And both Waldock and Arnason agreed that if Myers believed there was consent, if he never heard the women withdraw consent, for example, then he could not be found guilty.

“Mr. Myers should not be convicted if he honestly believed that his partner was consenting,” Waldock said in his closing. “But if she is screaming ‘no, ow!’ then it is a pretty good indication she didn’t want it. No does mean no.”

The lawyers were back in court on Dec. 17, and a sentencing hearing for the two charges Myers was convicted on was set for March 1. Given he has served two years of time in pre-trial custody, any more time is unlikely, but what will be up for discussion is the conditions of probation.

One victim indicated she was told that if convicted of the sexual assaults, Crown was going to seek a dangerous offender designation for Myers, something that’s unlikely now.

• RELATED: Violent sex offender found not guilty of breach for smoking marijuana


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Michael Sean Myers. (Facebook)

Michael Sean Myers. (Facebook)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

(Maps.Chilliwack.com)
RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Agassiz toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Woody’s RV World hosts a grand opening for its brand-new Abbotsford location on Saturday. (YouTube)
Woody’s RV World hosts Abbotsford grand opening on Saturday

First-ever B.C. location for successful RV chain, located on Marshall Road

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read