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Jian Ghomeshi Facing More Sexual Assault Charges From Three New Alleged Victims

01/08/2015 10:33 EST | Updated 03/10/2015 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - A grim-faced Jian Ghomeshi found himself once again in a crush of police and media Thursday following a brief court appearance in which three new charges of sexual assault were laid against the fired CBC radio host.

Ghomeshi had nothing to say after he was remanded out of custody on $100,000 bail, although one of his lawyers said he would be pleading not guilty.

Toronto police said three new complainants had come forward, resulting in the three new criminal charges.

The former "Q" host now faces seven counts of sexual assault and one of overcoming resistance by choking for incidents alleged to have occurred in 2002, 2003 and 2008.

His lawyer, Marie Henein, would only say after the appearance that her client would contest the charges.

"He will plead not guilty," Henein said.

Only one of the six complainants — actress Lucy DeCoutere — can be identified publicly. The others, one of whom is a former CBC employee, are all subject to a standard publication ban, as is any evidence presented at the bail hearing.

DeCoutere, an actress on "Trailer Park Boys," has publicly accused Ghomeshi of choking her "to the point she could not breathe." She also said he slapped her three times "hard" on the side of her head in 2003.

"And then there were seven," she tweeted on Thursday.

Ghomeshi's bail terms remain identical to those imposed following his last court appearance in November — with the only change being one related to a ban on his being near or contacting the new complainants.

The conditions include that he live with his mother, who pledged the $100,000 bail money and sat quietly in the front row of the courtroom. He is also required to remain in Ontario and not possess a passport.

As occurred in November at his first appearance, a small phalanx of police officers led Ghomeshi, Henein and co-counsel Danielle Robitaille from the courthouse amid a stifling crush of reporters shouting questions, snapping camera flashes, and some heckling from bemused bystanders.

"That went better than last time," one officer remarked to a colleague as Ghomeshi finally made it into a car on Yonge Street and was driven away.

In a headline-grabbing case that sparked a national conversation about sexual harassment and misogyny, the CBC fired its star host on Oct. 26 after seeing what it called "graphic evidence" that Ghomeshi, 47, had caused physical injury to a woman.

He had previously admitted in a Facebook posting that he engaged in "rough sex" but insisted it was always consensual.

Since then, more than a dozen women have come forward with allegations that Ghomeshi sexually or physically assaulted them, including a former CBC employee.

On Monday, the CBC announced that two high-ranking executives had been put on indefinite leave of absence in light of the scandal.

The disciplinary measures against Chris Boyce, executive director of CBC Radio, and Todd Spencer, HR executive director, came after they conducted interviews with "Q" employees last summer as part of an internal investigation.

The allegations also led the CBC to ask an outside lawyer to investigate the scandal.

If convicted, Ghomeshi faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

His next court date was set for Feb. 4, although Henein said he would not appear personally.

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