Niagara man cleared of sex assault charge wins defamation suit against accuser
After a sexual assault charge against a Niagara Region man was withdrawn, he went on to sue his accuser in small claims court — and won.
Experts say such lawsuits, while unusual, may be becoming more common and could have a chilling effect on sexual assault reporting.
Elizabeth Grace, a civil lawyer with experience in sexual assault and defamation law, says defamation concerns for accusers often come up when they share abuse allegations online. Just going to the police or starting a lawsuit isn’t usually enough for a successful defamation claim – but it can be if it’s found to be done for malicious purposes, which is a high bar to clear, she says