After hearing closing submissions Tuesday from Chris Murphy, who represents 54-year-old Gregory Alan Elliott, Ontario Court Judge Brent Knazan is expected to rule on Oct. 6. Elliott is charged with criminally harassing two Toronto female political activists, Steph Guthrie and Heather Reilly, in 2012.
The graphic artist and father of four lost his job shortly after his arrest, which was well-publicized online, and if convicted, could go to jail for six months. These are astonishing repercussions given that it’s not alleged he ever threatened either woman (or any other, according to the testimony of the Toronto Police officer, Detective Jeff Bangild, who was in charge) or that he ever sexually harassed them.
Elliot and Guthrie initially fell out over his refusal to endorse her plan to “sic the Internet” upon a young man in Northern Ontario who had invented a violent video game, where users could punch an image of a feminist video blogger named Anita Sarkeesian until the screen turned red. Guthrie Tweeted at the time that she wanted the inventor’s “hatred on the Internet to impact his real-life experience” and Tweeted to prospective employers to warn them off the young man and even sent the local newspaper in his town a link to the story about the game. Elliott disagreed with the tactic and Tweeted he thought the shaming “was every bit as vicious as the face-punch game”.
The criminal harassment charge is rooted in the alleged victim’s perception of the offending conduct. The statute says if that conduct caused the alleged victims “reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety”, that’s good enough.
Read more at the Canadian National Post…