Alec Salloum, Regina Leader-Post
The Crown has stayed a charge of soliciting sexual services against former Sask. Party MLA Ryan Domotor.
Domotor was not present in the Regina courtroom on Thursday morning, and was represented by a lawyer from McDougall Gauley LLP on behalf of firm partner Darren Kraushaar.
“A stay means the Crown is no longer proceeding with the charges and [Domotor] has no outstanding matters before the Court,” Kraushaar said in an emailed statement.
Domotor completed the Prostitution Offender Intervention Program on Jan. 27, he added.
Crown prosecutor Carmody Hallamore said that given the nature of the charges Domotor was referred to the program through Regina Family Services.
“If the person attends the programming to the satisfaction of the people at Regina Family Services, we are notified of that and then we stay the criminal charges,” said Hallamore on Thursday.
A stay is different from a withdrawal of charges.
“A withdrawal of charges means that the prosecution can never bring those charges back, but with a stay of proceedings, charges can be revived within a year,” according to a definition listed on a Government of Canada Department of Justice website.
Hallamore said while a stay was sought and received, this is effectively a withdrawal of the charge since “it would never be reopened because he has completed the programming.”
“There would be no reason to ever reactivate that,” she said.
That also means Domotor will have no criminal record going forward. Hallamore said there are lots of considerations made as to who is eligible for alternative measures, like the aforementioned program.
The severity of the charges, past criminal record or history of similar offences factor into the decision.
“It’s something that we feel would be more of assistance to them than then putting them through the criminal justice system,” said Hallamore, adding the aim is to “deal with the root causes of the offence.”
Kraushaar said this “is a common result involving an accused facing this type of allegation for the first time.”
Domotor still represents Cut Knife-Turtleford in the legislative assembly as an independent, having been removed from caucus by Premier Scott Moe in November.
No statement from Domotor was available on Thursday morning.
Domotor was charged following a Regina Police Service “project” focused on sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
The project took place between Nov. 14 and Nov. 16, 2023 and resulted in the arrest of 16 people, including Domotor. The first-term MLA was arrested on Nov. 16 at approximately 2 p.m. at an unnamed business in east Regina.