N.S. Appeal Court reserves decision in case of former border agent convicted of rape

Nova Scotia’s highest court has reserved its decision in the case of a former Canada Border Services Agent who was convicted of raping and extorting a woman facing deportation from Canada.

Carie Dexter Willis, 59, is appealing his conviction on charges of sexual assault, breach of trust and extortion. He’s also appealing the six-year prison sentence imposed following his trial last year.

Willis is out on bail and living in Montreal while he awaits the decision from the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

Willis was supposed to be handling the file of a Nigerian woman who was to be deported from Canada. Instead, a judge found Willis agreed to bury the woman’s file in exchange for sex. That was in 2003. The woman did not report the case until 2014.

What Willis is arguing

In arguments before the Appeal Court, Willis’s lawyer, Roger Burrill, said the trial judge was “nitpicking” in her assessment of his client’s testimony, while failing to subject the victim to the same level of scrutiny. Burrill said the trial judge appeared to give too much weight to inconsistencies in Willis’s testimony and testimony from other witnesses that contradicted his.

Crown attorney Glenn Hubbard said the trial judge, Justice Suzanne Hood, spent roughly the same amount of time in her decision assessing the evidence from both sides.

Burrill said the most his client should have been sentenced to was three years on the sexual assault charge and one additional year for the other two charges. He is asking for a new trial.

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