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Halifax lawyer gets jail for sex assault

By: The Canadian Press

 | Jul 30, 2014 - 2:49 PM |
Lyle Howe, lawyer for former Nova Scotia legislature member Trevor Zinck, talks with reporters at provincial court in Dartmouth on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. The Crown has outlined a joint recommendation with the defence of a three-year jail term for Howe, a Halifax lawyer who was convicted of sexual assault. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Lyle Howe, lawyer for former Nova Scotia legislature member Trevor Zinck, talks with reporters at provincial court in Dartmouth on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. The Crown has outlined a joint recommendation with the defence of a three-year jail term for Howe, a Halifax lawyer who was convicted of sexual assault. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

HALIFAX - A Halifax lawyer convicted of sexual assault was sentenced to three years in jail in a case that sparked protests from some who say it reflects the justice system's bias against black men.

Lyle Howe, a black lawyer with a high public profile in the city, was found guilty by a jury of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman on March 20, 2011.

Before he was sentenced, Howe told the province's Supreme Court that he is embarrassed and remorseful for his actions.

At his trial, he testified he had consensual sex with the woman, but the Crown argued she was impaired and did not give consent.

His conviction triggered a rally last month outside the courthouse where his supporters voiced their doubts about the verdict and raised concerns over what role race may have played in the case.

Nova Scotia's Public Prosecution Service defended its decision to prosecute Howe, saying the Crown determined it was in the public interest to proceed with the case.

Howe was acquitted of administering a stupefying substance when the jury delivered its verdict in May.

The Nova Scotia Barristers' Society suspended his licence to practise.

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