Paul Batchelor is a man who deserves to go to jail for an exceptionally long time; he is a troubled 35-year-old man who has been charged with allegedly sexually assaulting multiple women and has been investigated for threatening to kill as well. Batchelor has been in and out of the courts for years, always freed on technicalities or lack of proof. The deeply concerning situation that has arisen from this is that when he was freed on bail once before, he was alleged to have sexually assaulted more women and he broke terms of his bail by setting up online dates. This, ladies and gentlemen, is allegedly a serial rapist or sexual predator who has been able take advantage of a judicial system that needs reform.
Trying to stay clear of racial tensions is hard in this situation; how many men of colour have been locked up in similar situations from lesser allegations? Many to be sure. I spoke to one of Paul Batchelor’s high school classmates who described him as “quiet and super creepy’’. Batchelor has always been freed because it seems the women who come against him with these allegations fall apart on the stand. An Ottawa judge freed him once before, as the woman’s credibility came into question because of an hour difference in the times given of the attack. Ultimately it comes down to he said and she said. There are times to be sure when there is one side and another side and the truth is ultimately is in the middle. In this situation there are multiple allegations from many women which paints a violent and disturbing picture of Batchelor.
Finally, as more and more women have come forward, charges are starting to stick. However, in another judicial failure, which can only be described as a ‘’joke”, Batchelor has been granted bail awaiting his next trial. Ontario Supreme Court Justice Anne London-Weinsein granted him bail this past week, with strict conditions that he be confined to his family on their farm in Warkworth, Ontario, monitored with a GPS anklebracelet and not be allowed to go on the internet. To me, this is an alarming situation in the sense that it is very clear he has an issue he can’t control. The real concern here is what if he finally snaps, and we have seen it before in history, where a person commits a capital crime out on bail, when they should have never been given bail. I realize it is a leading statement, but many lives have been needlessly lost for judicial system failures. What if sitting in his cell he is now ready to come through on those death threats? Would he kill his family and then go off on a spree, knowing he is likely going to jail for a long period sometime after his trial begins? Who knows for sure but it has happened in the past. He is obviously not stupid, and he thinks he can beat the system; he probably has a plan to escape his house arrest, or maybe he will use it to show restraint and get a lesser charge so that he can be freed early after some jail time. Even if he does go to jail, I know he will not come out a better man; it’s in his blood now. Even if only a fraction of the allegations is true, there are enough to show that he is a serial rapist. He will do it again. Batchelor has also travelled the world since high school visiting many European countries. Who knows how far his reign of terror reaches? Apparently COVID- 19 is playing a role in this case. His trial has been postponed because of the pandemic. The Crown says they could lose on the case because of these delays, so in good faith they are willing to let him wait it out at home so that there can be no mistrial. If a person commits extreme violations or a capital crime or is alleged to have done so, there should be no rush. They should have to sit in jail as long as it takes; the rest of us have suffered because of COVID, so Batchelor can as well. Lately, I have been studying the word justice; the truth is that its definition is not easy to define and that is a problem. This man should not be allowed to be free, even if it is a strict freedom. The bureaucracy behind all of this is maddening. The past few months there has been mass protests for police reform; people do not lump in judicial reform here, but they should. Ultimately, it’s the judges who set the people free, not the police. The only good news here is that Batchelor faces charges in Ontario and Quebec. He needs the Quebec judicial system to grant him bail as well, something it has denied him before. Here is hoping logic prevails.