November 1, 2001
Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario
Box 822 Station A, Toronto Ont. M5W 1G3 Canada
On November 5, 2001, a trial before a judge of the Provincial Court resumes at 10:00 am in Old City Hall involving Robert Schisler, a gay man who alleges Toronto police officers assaulted him and made anti-gay comments during an incident that led to his arrest in July 1999. He alleges the police uttered homophobic slurs and inflicted significant, visible injuries during the arrest. Mr. Schisler was charged with Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Obstructing a Police Officer in the Line of Duty. The incident arose while Schisler and another man were in Schisler’s parked van, with curtains drawn, on Church Street.
Schisler’s lawyer will seek an end to the prosecution, arguing police have failed, during the two years since the charges were laid, to disclose their case against Schisler. In fact, a judge at an earlier point in the proceeding ordered the police to disclose their case. The proceedings have dragged on now for over two years, causing severe emotional and financial distress to Schisler. He has been receiving medical treatment for stress incurred by the charges and the delays in dealing with them. Schisler has paid over $40,000 in legal fees to defend himself thus far and is at risk of having to declare bankruptcy.
“My life has been turned inside out”, Schisler states. But he remains determined to fight what he contends are unfounded criminal charges and homophobia on the part of the arresting officers.
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