My criminal trial on charges of Trespassing, Mischief, and Forcible Entry concluded last week, after four days of testimony and argument which began last September. Judge Krahn has reserved her decision until July 7th, so we'll have to wait until then to hear what she has to say. But no matter what the outcome, the trial has been an unmitigated disaster for the University of Winnipeg.
The University thought that they could convict me of trespassing without having to say why I was barred from the campus in the first place. A naive reading of the Petty Trespassing Act might seem to support this notion; after all, if I trespass in your back yard, you don't need to have a reason to tell me to get out. And the Petty Trespassing Act does not explicitly distinguish between private individuals and other "private" property owners such as shopping malls and universities, where the public is generally admitted without restriction. But if the statutory law does not make this distinction, then the common law most certainly does, as I argued in my summation before Judge Krahn. No one has ever been convicted for trespassing on "quasi-public" property without the court inquiring as to whether the manager of that property had a legitimate reason for wanting the person banned.
The ironic thing about this case was that the University had a perfectly legitimate reason to ban me - namely, that I was a psychotic sociopath who had just attempted to force his way into the home of one of his professors. I'd say that's a pretty good reason to ban me from the campus.
But when I asked the Crown Attorney to provide me with a list of the witnesses he intended to call, I saw that there was no one on his list who could testify as to the facts of the home invasion. Well, if he wasn't going to call those witnesses, then I was. And that's when things started to go south for the U of W.
The problem was that the home invasion story was a crock, and everybody knew it. I had called on Professor Bush at his home to serve legal papers on him; Professor Bush had sent his wife to the door, and she refused to accept the papers, slamming the door on me. Then the Bushes got the bright idea of accusing me of attempting to force my way in, and started a round of phone calls that ended up with the U of W issuing a no-trespassing order against me.
So on the first day of the trial, I called the Bushes and various other people who had been involved in those phone conversations, including Professor Metz, Academic VP Neil Besner, Security Chief Martin Grainger, and union rep Lisa McGifford. I knew about all those phone calls because I had sued Professor Bush and his wife for defamation, and in response they had filed affidavits describing all the discussions they had had that evening, and basically denying that they had accused me of trying to force my way in.
And that was their problem. There are two ways of defending youself against a defamation charge: either you say, "I never said that", or you say, "I said it, and it's true". For purposes of the civil case, the Bushes had chosen Option A. But it would turn out that to make the criminal charges stick, they needed to argue Option B. And that's where I had them.
As I told the Judge, the lies they needed to tell to beat me on the criminal case were different from the lies they needed to tell to beat me on the civil case.