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Former local candidate seeks publication ban in wake of charges

'Since the charges were placed Jake has felt fearful in the community due to the media attention and as such he would be seeking a common law publication ban,' says lawyer
2022-05-10 Jake Tucker2
Jake Tucker ran as an Independent candidate in the riding of Barrie-Innisfil in the June 2, 2022 provincial election.

The lawyer for an Innisfil man facing exploitation and other charges said his client is wrongfully accused.

Jake Tucker, the co-founder of Innisfil Pride who also stood as an independent candidate for the June 2 provincial election, faces seven charges. They include exploiting and controlling a woman, two counts of receiving material benefit obtained through the commission of an offence, advertising sexual services and communicating to obtain sexual services and assault.

According to the information filed with the court, the offence dates are between 2017 and 2021 and are all related to activity in Barrie.

“Jake strenuously denies the allegations, each and every one of them, and he’s prepared to take this matter all the way to trial to prove his innocence,” said his defence lawyer, Matthew Giesinger.

During Tucker’s remote appearance in case management court before a justice of the peace on Wednesday, Giesinger announced he was seeking a common law publication ban.

He is to return to court July 20 to make his argument before a provincial court judge.

Giesinger suggested Tucker has already been stigmatized because of his choices and has been afraid since the reporting of the charges in the media.

“The purpose of the publication ban is to protect Jake from attention in the media and also protect his identity and his attendance at court for the purposes of the hearing in this matter,” said Giesinger.

“Since the charges were placed Jake has felt fearful in the community due to the media attention and as such he would be seeking a common law publication ban to protect his identity and future court dates," he added.

Common law publication bans, he explained, are established by case law, not the Criminal Code of Canada.

The standard established by case law is subject to judicial scrutiny, he added.

“Under these circumstances, I feel, Jake establishes that test. He’s a vulnerable individual, he’s the president of Innisfil Pride and as a member of a minority or vulnerable community he frequently deals with negative attention," said Giesinger.

"Given the charges against him he needs the protection of the publication ban to ensure his safety and his continued participation in the community ... especially because these charges are completely false. Under the circumstances Jake feels he needs the added protection of a publication ban," Giesinger said.

Media law specialist Doug Richardson, who often represents Village Media and other news organizations, said publication bans can prove problematic to news organizations that don’t necessarily have the resources to challenge them.

Richardson points to a 1994 Supreme Court of Canada decision which demonstrated that publication bans and restricting access interferes with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for freedom of expression and free press.

The right to a fair trial has to be balanced with other rights allowed under the Charter and the principle of open courts, he said.

“They’re both equally important rights, but we have to find a way to give more weight to freedom of expression/freedom of the press,” he said. “The onus is on them to convince the court that it’s necessary and they have to do so with evidence.

“And then you have to show that the ban that you’re asking for is the least restrictive ban that is necessary. You can’t just seek a ban on the full trial.”

There is also a requirement, he added, that notice of any bans be given to the media.

The National Post published the results of a special investigation last month showing that there has been an increased use of publication bans in Ontario and three other provinces, raising issues of secrecy in the courts.

During an earlier interview with BarrieToday leading up to last month’s provincial election, Tucker said they have called Simcoe County home for the past 17 years and have been keen to represent the whole community. Tucker gained 119 votes on June 2 in the riding of Barrie—Innisfil.

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About the Author: Marg. Bruineman

Marg. Bruineman is an award-winning journalist who focuses on justice issues and human interest stories
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