One law for the rich

At the end of October (2006), Denis Vranich, a millionaire night club owner and property speculator was convicted of a sexual assault on a 22 year old his employee working at his club. The Hamilton Spectator reported that "Vranich grabbed the woman, pulled down her bodice, groped her breasts and penetrated her with his finger", in her Victim Impact Statement the employee reported "The thought of him makes me absolutely nauseous and brings on panic attacks".

The Spectator also reported that Vranich was convicted in 2001 of "procuring persons under the age of 18 and exercising control over them to engage in prostitution." The Crown sought house arrest, Vranich's punishment will be one-year house arrest in his luxury mansion.

Meanwhile Mohawk father and activist, Shawn Brant has already spent two months in pre-trial jail. The Crown is prosecuting him for his role in the struggle of the Tyendinaga Mohawks for the return of the Culbertson Tract. In his case the Crown has announced that they are seeking a minimum 12-year jail term. Brant's so-called crimes amounted to blockades and reclamations of sites in which no one was injured. Brants mistake it would appear was to be neither a night club owner or a property developer. Being a Mohawk rather than a millionaire cannot have helped. And rather than engaging in an activity the Crown obviously finds only a minor problem like a sexual assault his crime is being "an articulate and militant spokesperson for his community and indigenous struggles in Canada more generally."

That’s justice in Ontario, a slap on the wrist for a millionaire sex offender as against 12 years in jail for an activist who struggles for justice for his community.

Originally published in Linchpin 1, paper of Common Cause (Ontario)

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