Alberta judge cleared in case where sex assault victim was shackled and jailed

EDMONTON — An Alberta judge has been cleared of misconduct in the case of a sexual assault victim who was shackled in court and imprisoned during her testimony.

The Alberta Judicial Council says provincial court Judge Raymond Bodnarek acted on the advice of counsel at the preliminary hearing and tried to minimize hardship to the woman where possible.

The council says while Bodnarek could have taken actions such as pushing the lawyers involved on why the woman had to be shackled in court, the fact he didn’t doesn’t amount to judicial misconduct.

The woman was remanded in custody and shackled in court during Bodnarek’s preliminary hearing into her case in June 2015.

An independent report commissioned by the province determined that the Crown prosecutor had no legal grounds to seek the woman’s imprisonment while she testified.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley has ordered a review and new policies to guide prosecutors when dealing with witnesses whom they believe to flight risks.

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