Eight Important Things To Know About Gregory Alan Elliott’s Twitter Trial

Yes folks, the media's probably gonna tell you she's a victim...

Yes folks, the media’s probably gonna tell you Stephanie Guthrie is a victim…

On Friday morning Ontario Court Judge Brent Knazan is expected to give his ruling on the Gregory Alan Elliott Twitter trial. Elliott was charged with criminal harassment in 2012 for his communications with three politically connected social justice warriors over Twitter- the case has implications over all of our online freedom. I’ll be there to report and will be live tweeting as information comes available- find me on Twitter @grenouf.

The media’s coverage of Elliot’s case has been generally dismal- some stories contained outright defamatory claims, others looked a whole lot like vindictive attacks. In July 2015 Christie Blatchford wrote an accurate analysis of the case’s weaknesses and its implications on free speech- this was followed by a wave of hate, smears, and misinformation attacks from people who didn’t agree with her analysis.

There are some powerful stakeholders standing behind the curtains, some might have difficult questions to answer if Elliott wins- cops, city councillors, journalists, and the Crown to name a few. If the media’s response to Friday’s ruling is anything like it’s been in the past there’s a solid chance Canadians will be flooded a tidal wave of misinformation over the weekend. In the interest of helping ensure there’s more truth and less shameless spin- here are eight key facts every journalist and Canadian should know before tomorrow’s decision:

8. The Charges Are, Literally, “Creepy”  

Stephanie Guthrie: Creeped Out...

Stephanie Guthrie: Creeped out

One of the core elements in Canada’s Criminal Code defining criminal harassment is that the alleged victim must have felt threatened by the actions of the accused. Arresting officer Jeff Banglid testified on the stand that Elliott never threatened the alleged victims, none of the tweets entered show evidence of threats or aggression. So, what did the Crown base Elliott’s charges on?

The answer to that question is, literally, “creepy”. Guthrie testified on the stand that the first time she met Elliott in-person he made her feel “creepy”. Of course, this happened long before Guthrie cut-off communications with Elliott and her communications with him after that meeting were friendly and inviting.

7. Elliott Followed Twitter’s Rules

Followed the rules

Gregory Alan Elliott: Followed the rules

As Elliott’s lawyer stated in his final submission, the court was shown zero evidence that Elliott violated Twitter’s rules. Twitter is the electronic version of Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park- as long as people not communicating threats, Twitter allows users to shout over each other as much as they please. Sometimes this sucks, other times it breeds exciting debates.

Twitter allows people to make complaints about fellow user’s behavior. The company might respond by imposing temporary suspensions or shutting down the user’s account. Elliott’s account is still operational and there’s no evidence it was ever was suspended. It’s kind of scary, but it appears that the Crown is saying they have the right to override Twitter’s rules. There are so many ways this could go pear shaped- video gamers might want to be careful who they target in 1st person shooters.

6. The Alleged Victims Were Vicious And Deceptive

gae-facepunch-game-want-him-destroyed

Elliott’s conflict with Guthrie and her friends started when she set off on a crusade against a Bendelin Spurr- a young man who made a game depicting social justice warrior Anita Sarkeesian getting punched in the face. Guthrie accused Spurr of making a “misogynist” game and proceeded to – in her own words – “sic the Internet on him” to convict “the fuck” in the court of public opinion. Guthrie’s accusation that the game was misogynist was quickly debunked, Spurr previously made a similar game about a man- both were digital equivalents of voodoo dolls.

Elliott responded to Guthrie saying that her attacks against Spurr were “every bit as vicious as the face-punch game.” When Elliott’s defense asked Guthrie if she was concerned her attacks against Spurr could result in his being harmed, she unabashedly stated that she was okay with that. When the defense repeated the question, Guthrie once again made it very clear she believed he deserved whatever was coming to him.

In November 2012, a few weeks before Elliott was charged with criminal harassment, Guthrie and others started spreading misinformation that Elliott was a Pedophile. Guthrie testified that she knew rumours about Elliott propositioning an underage girl weren’t true, but neglected to tell Detective Banglid because “I wasn’t trying to harm him unduly, but I was not trying to help him.”

Nasty, nasty

Nasty, nasty

In August 2012 the alleged victims and their friends appear to have been making great efforts to discredit and ridicule Elliott. Astrid Idlewild created the hashtag #GAEhole which was used dozens of times- often partnered with vicious attacks against his character. Look out for more of the same after the case has been decided, it’s bound to come.

Paisley Rae, Shelley Carroll, Alicia Pang, and Astrid Idlewild

Paisley Rae, Shelley Carroll, Alicia Pang, and Astrid Idlewild

5. City Councillors Encouraged WiToPoli Members To “Cyberbully”

A few months before Elliott was charged, he and Guthrie attended a Women In Toronto Politics meeting where city councillors Shelley Carroll and Kristyn Wong-Tam called on young women to “cyberbully” people. Carroll literally said:

“I don’t think we use it nearly as much as we should to call people out on things like that. We get called out, heaven knows, by the cyberbullies that I’ve mentioned. Where’s our cyberbullies, why aren’t we bullying the people that say things like that.”

Wong-Tam explained how it can be a good thing when a woman is called a “c##t” online- it gives the opportunity to fight back, “and you know they’re all trolls”:

“So that is the power of Twitter as well. Is that you also get to expose the nasty bits of people who are out there – and you know that they are all trolls – so the threats, although public, are public for everyone and you get to track it down. So that’s the good side, and the bad side.”

It appears that Women in Toronto Politics suffer from the worst kind of role models…

4. The Greatest Lie Made By Guthrie’s Supporters

Why talk about this online?

Why talk about this online?

When Blatchford’s story was published in July 2015 Stephanie Guthrie’s friends and supporters got their nasty on with a swarm of vicious attacks. As expected, there was a lot of misinformation flying around- one of their biggest lies was that Guthrie was forbidden from speaking out to defend herself.

There’s no requirement that Guthrie stays silent. There were good reasons for her to do so, but she crossed the line speaking with the media only days after Elliott was charged. Then, in April 2015, Guthrie showed incredibly bad judgment making a false claim that Elliott might have sent her a death threat. Of course, she didn’t take it to the police, she instead chose to take it to the court of public opinion.

3. Fuzzy Memories Of A “Secret” Meeting To Stop Elliott

One of the most shocking moments in Elliott’s trial was when it was when Guthrie admitted that she and her friends held a secret meeting about Gregory Alan Elliott in August, 2012. The event was held at the home of (former) alleged victim Paisley Rae- other participants included alleged victims Stephanie Guthrie & Heather Reiley, and their friends Rachel MacKenzie, and @PopeShakey (who’s managed to keep their name secret through the trial).

Curiously, Guthrie and fellow alleged victim Heather Reiley couldn’t remember who else attended the meeting- neither could they remember details about what was discussed at the meeting.

2. Alleged Victim Had Close Relationships With The Police

Paisley Rae has a close relationship with the police.

Paisley Rae has a close relationship with the police.

If you’re one of the inquiring minds who’s wondering how such a weak case could have ever been filed by Toronto Police, you might find this next part of the story interesting. Paisley Rae was magically dropped from the case before her testimony was to be heard, but she had an incredibly close relationship with Toronto police at the time the charges were laid.

Rae’s connection with the Toronto Police Service got started in the aftermath of the riots and mass arrests of the 2010 G20. Rae worked with Const Scott Mills during the TPS’ 2011 Fugitive Conference. In 2012 she travelled to the #SmileCon conference in Vancouver where she met with Deputy Chief Sloly and Mills. Rae is listed as a social media consultant in the TPS’ 2013 PACER Report, the same year she helped raise $7,500 to make a video about carding for the Policing Literacy Initiative.

Scott Mills & Paisley Rae at the Cadillac Lounge

Scott Mills & Paisley Rae at the Cadillac Lounge

But Paisley Rae’s connections with the police go deeper than professional interactions, she and Scott Mills both helped organize #ChillCon, an event where TPS’ social media cops could chill down for drinks with civillians at the Cadillac Lounge. When Mills set up a nonprofit online crisis intervention project Paisley Rae was listed on the board of directors.

Disturbing at best

Disturbing at best

One of the most disturbing incidents demonstrating Rae’s closeness with the Police happened during the 2013 #SmileCon conference where Detective Banglid made a presentation titled “Investigations Involving the Internet & Social Media.” The detective got into the details of Elliott’s case, including showing a picture of Elliott and his sons (with the faces blocked out). Paisley Rae – while still an alleged victim –  live-tweeted as Banglid boasted about Elliott’s bust. How could this ever be acceptable?

What’s all this then officers?

Elle est un saint?

Elle est un saint?

1. The Crown Really Screwed-Up

The court held a special hearing on August 5, 2015 to address what the Crown claimed was a serious mistake. Elliott was charged for “knowingly” harassing the alleged victims, but the Crown claimed in her closing statements that he “either knowingly or recklessly” harassed them. So, basically, she changed the charges at the end of the case.

The judge responded saying “there can be no conviction for something for which Elliott is not charged.” The Crown claimed the omission of the word “recklessly” was an oversight, the defense rightly argued that he might have argued the case differently if he knew Elliott’s mens rea included recklessness.

Judge Knazan promised in a September follow-up hearing that he’d make a ruling on how to proceed before he gives his final ruling on Friday. This opens up a third possibility beyond a verdict of innocent or guilty- there’s a slight possibility the case could end up being thrown out. Justice for none.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2016/01/21/eight-important-things-to-know-about-gregory-alan-elliotts-twitter-trial/

20 comments

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    • Clayton Elliott on January 21, 2016 at 16:27
    • Reply

    Great article, Greg. This thing turned into something crazier than anyone could’ve imagined. Hopefully it’s put to rest tomorrow with a positive outcome.
    Also, guilty or not-guilty, he’s still up to his ears in debt and needs all the help he can get financially. We’re asking people to contribute to and/or share his crowdfunding page if they would like to help. And follow the hashtag #freedomoftweets
    https://www.generosity.com/fundraising/gregory-alan-elliott-twitter-trial-support-fund/

  1. Wow! What a trouble-maker in this woman! lol

    • Kevin K on January 21, 2016 at 17:37
    • Reply

    Great summary! Hopefully GAE will be acquitted tomorrow. I cannot imagine any different outcome.

    After GAE is acquitted I hope that he will do the following (I hope Clayton sees this and conveys this advice to his dad).

    1) In Canada we have criminal defamation laws (its rare but people have been CRIMINALLY charged with defamation). GAE should ask a judge to bring CRIMINAL libel charges against Steph Guthrie, Heather Reilly, and Paisley Rae. If a judge agrees to lay criminal charges it would not cost Greg anything and it would land these women in prison if convicted.

    2) Falsely accusing someone of committing a crime is a criminal offense called “public mischief”. Again go before a judge and ask that Heather Reilly, Steph Guthrie, and Paisley Rae be CRIMINALLY charged with public mischief (again this would not cost you anything). It is abundantly clear from their testimony that these women were never at anytime in real fear of Greg and that they feigned fear in order to bring false charges against Greg.

    3) During the trial it came out that Heather Reilly lied under oath. She claimed that she changed her avatar because she was fearful of Greg. The lawyer proved that she had in fact changed her avatar BEFORE she even connected with Greg online. Of coarse lying under oath is a VERY serious crime of perjury and you must INSIST that Heather Reilly be criminally charged ( I don’t know why this hasn’t happened already!).

    4) You should file complaints against officers Scott Mills and Jeff Bangild for their colluding with Social Justice Warriors to frame Greg of a crime he did not commit. The complaint should be filed with the OIPRD (I can provide link if need be). Jeff Bangild used evidence from this case in power point presentations he gave at “social media in law enforcement” “SMILE conferences – even though the case was before the courts! I believe that this is a violation of the police act and could be the basis of the complaint against Bangild (I have copies of the power point slides if you need proof).

    5) You may want to sue the above named women for defamation also the police for false arrest although this would potentially involve outlay of substantial sum of money. You might be able to find a top lawyer to take on the lawsuit on a contingency basis and if you win it won’t cost you anything. If you lose however you could be liable for legal costs for the defendants.

      • Matt Smith on January 21, 2016 at 19:46
      • Reply

      More important. Read the damn decision. If he is acquitted (and I expect he will be), there may be findings of fact made by the trial judge that will be of great value in any civil action against Rae, Reilly, and Guthrie.

      A lot of what you suggest reflects naivety about how the system works. This is not an insult.

      Judges can’t do shit to make a prosecution happen. They don’t lay charges. Buddy can admit to killing kids to a judge, but if the Crown doesn’t bring an indictment against him, judge can’t force them to do so.

      You read the decision and look into Goldenberg. You are looking for actual malice on her part pursuing the prosecution. This is a high bar, unlikely to be crossed.

      With Guthrie et al, you are looking for any findings of fact that may support a civil action against them (or the police)

      Fuck dicking around with judges and trying to create criminal charges, unless you have your own sympathetic ear over at the police station. It’s not worth the investment of time otherwise.

        • Kevin K on January 21, 2016 at 21:07
        • Reply

        Normally it is police who investigate crimes and lay charges but I don’t trust the corrupt and incompetent Toronto Police to lay charges against any of these women since the police are implicated in this fiasco / travesty of justice.

        I’m not a lawyer but the FACT is private individuals CAN initiate private prosecutions. This is not something I dreamed up (are you a lawyer?):

        https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/private_prosecution.php

        There is no doubt that Heather Reilly lied under oath (if you read the Defenses closing arguments). Why hasn’t she been charged with perjury yet? If I was Greg Alan Elliott the first thing I would do it initiate private prosecution of Heather Reilly for perjury and public mischief. As for proving malice all you need to do is look at Gutherie’s testimony and tweets and you will find an abundance of malice. She is a MALICIOUS person as are her cohorts. Gutherie has boasted about destroying the lives of people by “doxing” them online. That’s the very definition of malicious! The “bar” is not that hard to get over!

        Yes by all means read the final decision. And hopefully GAE will have the ability to move forward with a civil action against these women and the police.

        1. You can only execute a private prosecution if the alleged (and I stress, everything is alleged until proven in court) crime took place within the past six months. So, at this point, there’s no possible way to go that route as all of the allegations you’ve made happened over a year ago.

            • Kevin K on January 21, 2016 at 21:35
            • Reply

            I’m not a lawyer so you may be right. In the link I provided above I didn’t see any six month statute of limitations. I don’t know why normal statutes of limitations wouldn’t apply. If private prosecution not available hopefully other avenues available. We know from the trial that Heather Reilly lied under oath. Why hasn’t she been charged with perjury yet? Who is responsible for initiating such charges? The judge? the crown? police? I don’t know how someone can lie under oath and not be charged with perjury. Perjury is worse than anything GAE has been accused of and so far Reilly is getting a free pass. I think what needs to happen is when GAE is acquitted he needs to start making lots of noise and demanding criminal prosecutions. If not the corrupt and immoral police and crown will just sweep this under the carpet.

          • Matt Smith on January 21, 2016 at 21:48
          • Reply

          I’m a law student

          Greg is correct about the limitation period. In some of the cases though, you may be able to frame the offense as ongoing, which could circumvent the limitation period.

          But the Crown has virtually unfettered discretion to proceed/intervene. My point was more that even if you did all that work, do you really think the Crown is gonna let it happen? I wouldn’t hold my breath.

          My point about malice involved the prosecutor in particular. Crown and cops are best targets for civil lawsuits because they pay when they lose. But in the case of a Crown, you have to prove actual malice on the part of the Crown. You won’t have to prove malice if you go after Guthrie for, say, defamation.

            • Kevin K on January 21, 2016 at 22:25
            • Reply

            Whatever the actual mechanism – the point is – criminal charges MUST be brought against these vile women and GAE and his MANY supporters should raise hell if the crown refuses to proceed.

            • Kevin K on January 21, 2016 at 23:48
            • Reply

            One big mystery for me is what ever happened to the guy behind the amicus curiae letter to the judge. He claimed that he used to be friends with the complainants and that he was at a meeting where they conspired to frame GAE. I don’t know why he was never called to testify. He claims that after submitting the brief to the judge the Toronto Police tried to harass him (an associate of Jeff Bangild came to his home). He subsequently moved to Boston. I don’t know if he is still in Boston. He has posted on this blog a couple of times on this subject. Had he testified he would have demolished the case against GAE. I hope that he will still come forward. His testimony would be very beneficial in any criminal proceedings against the three women complainants .

  2. Feminists running a reign of gynocentric terror. We need to deny them positions of authority and treat their allegations with the contempt it deserves.

    • nick lynch on January 22, 2016 at 03:11
    • Reply

    If it’s any consolation to Mr. Elliot, Whatever political ambitions Guthrie once held will never be realized. She was played by her own “friends” by putting ideology before self interest (as a good liberal is encouraged to do).

    1. Yeah, there’s a snowball’s chance her lot will be elected to anything more than a Strata council – and even then…

    • Michael S on January 22, 2016 at 16:47
    • Reply

    I sincerely hope the case isn’t thrown out. I want it to backfire. If the judge were one miss Judge Judy, it sure as hell would have by now.

  3. Luckily Greg Allen Elliot was able to attract public support. I went through something just as ridiculous and absurd here in the U.S., and was targeted and sued by a public figure for manufactured reasons. I wound up winning in September 2015. https://louiecapone.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/defamed-no-actually/

    • JR on January 23, 2016 at 19:06
    • Reply

    Great stuff, Greg. You’ve clarified a lot about this bogus “case” that wasn’t reported elsewhere. And yes, I have always wondered how this got escalated into criminal charges. Seems to me that the real bullies, abusers and harassers here were the two complainants, their pals, the police and the prosecutors. They put Greg Elliot through Hell.

      • Gregory Alan Elliott on January 23, 2016 at 20:45
      • Reply

      @Renouf ROCKS! A quote for Mr. Renouf: “If you’re going through Hell stop and smell the roses.” – Gregory Alan Elliott #love

    • patriarchal landmine on January 24, 2016 at 12:42
    • Reply

    the female gender, on display.

    • phil on January 28, 2016 at 13:25
    • Reply

    This is a complex conspiracy that involved the police and the ministry of the attorney general. Shocking. Absolutely shocking

    1. Alleged conspiracy until it can be proven otherwise. It could just be an example of government incompetence, an all to common problem.

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