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Jian Ghomeshi now faces 8 charges related to 6 women

By Sam Pazzano, Toronto Sun

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TORONTO - 

Disgraced CBC radio star Jian Ghomeshi appeared unfazed in a Toronto courtroom as he was slapped with three new sexual assault allegations against him by a trio of accusers.

Ghomeshi, 47, now faces eight charges, including one count of choking, but he remained free on his $100,000 bail and will continue to live at his mother’s upscale Thornhill home.

The allegations, involving six women, date from Aug. 17, 2002 through Feb. 7, 2008.

Ghomeshi was escorted by his mother into the downtown College St. courtroom and past a large crowd of media.

The throng paled in comparison to the massive group that engulfed College Park for Ghomeshi’s initial appearance in November when the first set of charges against him were laid.

Many courtroom observers were surprised that Ghomeshi attended Thursday’s court appearance. It’s highly unlikely he will return for the myriad set-dates until a preliminary hearing or trial is held.

Ghomeshi will likely not be in court on Feb. 4 when his case returns as his prominent defence lawyer, Marie Henein, will be filing a designation that permits his counsel to attend without him.

The new charges relate to two incidents in Toronto and another to an alleged assault in Owen Sound in August 2002.

One of the three new alleged victims is a former CBC employee, a source said.

Five of the six women alleging Ghomeshi assaulted them are covered by a publication ban, but Trailer Park Boys actress Lucy DeCoutere asked that the ban be lifted in her case.

DeCoutere told the Toronto Star that Ghomeshi “choked” and “ slapped” her in his Toronto home after a dinner on the Danforth in June or July 2003.

Henein on Thursday repeated to the phalanx of media that her client will be pleading not guilty to all charges and she will vigorously defend her client in court, not through the media.

A series of women have come forward to tell their stories of being physically abused, punched, bitten and slapped by Ghomeshi, before and during sexual encounters with him.

Ghomeshi launched a $55-million lawsuit alleging a breach of trust against his former employer but abandoned it and paid$18,000 of the public broadcaster’s legal bills.

He said nothing to reporters and some hecklers as he exited the courthouse, surrounded by burly Toronto Police officers who stuck with him and his lawyers until he stepped into a waiting station wagon on Yonge St.

sam.pazzano@sunmedia.ca

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