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Some charges stayed against Vancouver escort

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The trial of a Vancouver escort had barely begun before the Crown announced a surprising move Wednesday.

On the opening day of Jessica Kane‘s trial, Crown counsel advised the court that serious charges against the escort had been stayed.

No reason for the stay of proceedings was given.

Kane was charged earlier this year with administering an overpowering drug and robbery. The Vancouver charges were laid while the escort was out on $50,000 bail in connection with a case in Surrey.

The Vancouver allegations stated that a man rented a unit on Howe Street in January where he met a female escort he found on LeoList. A police search warrant and corresponding documents alleged the man was rendered unconscious and woken up by Airbnb cleaning staff the next day.

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Court documents further alleged that Vancouver police tracked Kane to an apartment on Davie Street where they seized multiple items including $14,000.

Kane’s lawyers did not respond to Global News’ request for comment.

Lawyer Ravi Hira, who is not affiliated with the case, explained that Crown has the right to stay charges at any point in time before a verdict is delivered.

“In order for the Crown to charge, the Crown must be satisfied that there is a substantial likelihood of conviction and that it’s in the public interest to proceed,” Hira said.

“Typically, the Crown reassesses cases throughout the course of the case, and if the Crown concludes that the chargeable standard is no longer met, the Crown may enter a stay of proceedings.”

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Hira said at the start of a case, when Crown receives the report from police, the evidence may support the substantial likelihood of conviction.

However, as more witness interviews are conducted and further information is received, the Crown may conclude that the standard is no longer being met in which case a stay of proceedings may occur.

“A case, as I tell my clients and tell others, is all about uncertainty management,” Hira added. “What starts off as one thing on paper, by the time it gets to the court process or through a courtroom, may be something very different.”

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He said there is no obligation under the law to explain why a stay of proceedings takes place but Crown can inform the public if it chooses to do so.

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Hira added that under the Criminal Code of Canada, a charge may be reinstated within a year of the stay being entered. If that doesn’t happen, then the Criminal Code states that the circumstances are such that it is as if a charge has never been laid.

While the Vancouver case is now over, Kane remains in custody on the Surrey file where she’s facing 20 charges dating back to 2021 including administering a stupefying drug, robbery and extortion.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Global News has learned the most serious charge of manslaughter in connection with the death of Dustin Lefebvre has also been stayed.

The BC Prosecution Service did not state why that charge was stayed, only that “the charge assessment standard for” (manslaughter) “was no longer met.”

Kane’s trial on the remaining Surrey charges is scheduled to begin in April next year.

— with files from Rumina Daya