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Former Pride Toronto co-chair found not guilty of sexual assault


Former Pride Toronto co-chair found not guilty of sexual assault

Former Pride Toronto board member Luka Amona faced accusations of sexually assaulting a Pride volunteer.
Luka Amona acquitted because of alleged victim’s inconsistencies

Former Pride Toronto board member and co-chair Luka Amona was found not guilty of sexual assault after a judge ruled that the alleged victim’s story was inconsistent.

Amona was charged with sexual assault stemming from an incident in August 2012, when the alleged victim — a former lover and Pride volunteer whose identity is protected by a publication ban — claims Amona drugged him and sexually assaulted him in his home after a volunteer appreciation party.

The complainant claimed to have blacked out at the party; however, witnesses testified that he didn’t appear drunk, was actively pursuing Amona at the party, and insisted on getting into a cab with Amona at the end of the night.

The complainant also could not explain why multiple text messages were sent from his phone to Amona during the party.

Superior Court Justice Michael Quigley delivered his verdict after both Amona and the complainant took the stand.

Amona was first elected to the Pride Board in a by-election in January 2011. He secured a full term in an election in October 2011. But Xtra reported that he resigned from the board a year later because of “personal reasons.” He now lives in Manitoba.

Amona could not be reached for comment on this story. 

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How interesting that the previous coverage was unpublished
What a curious and of course highly ethical turn of events that the previous coverage on Quotidian Xtra was deleted. Was it deleted because the trial was completely unreported by Xtra staff? Because Pink Triangle Press got caught with its pants down, unaware the trial was even happening until the Toronto Star started covering it?

Let’s revisit my original questions:

  1. Did Quotidian Xtra even know the charge had been laid, let alone that the trial was underway, until the Toronto Star reported it?

  2. Did Rob Salerno, or anyone from Quotidian Xtra, even attend the trial?

  3. Why is Quotidian Xtra unaware that Luka Amona was acquitted? It’s the sort of thing I easily found out by reading the Toronto Star.

  4. Isn’t this whole incident terribly embarrassing for antiracist queers? Amona was innocent all along up to and including the moment he was acquitted. But that is a statement of law. Isn’t it true that whatever passes for queer media, including Xtra, avoided covering the topic because Amona is black, hence must be the victim of a racist justice system? Or at the very least has to be innocent because a person so right-thinking that he could co-chair Pride Toronto could never do anything so heinous? He didn’t do it. But don’t Pride Toronto–style queers believe he couldn’t possibly have done it because he’s a politically correct “person of colour”?

One more: Isn’t it true that precisely zero original reporting went into this story?
‘Xtra’ Journalism Failure Watch
I renew my original accusations – that Xtra did not know this was happening till it was covered in the Star and that Xtra did no original reporting whatsoever. I further reiterate that the general queer/LGBT attitude toward this case was either “He’s the victim of a racist justice system” or “His politics align with ours, so he couldn’t possibly have done it.”

Where’s the followup?
I sort of liked...
I sort of liked the original article by Rob Salerno, before it was deleted.