A man charged with sexual assault and forcible confinment with a weapon forced several adjournments throughout the penultimate day of his trial.
Joseph Yaremko‘s trial was supposed to restart at 9:30 on the morning of Sept. 30.
Instead, Yaremko had a couple of requests which delayed the trial most of the day.
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His lawyer, Meagan Bortis, told court Yaremko was requesting a set of clothes and a chance to shave before entering court on the morning of Sept. 30.
He was refusing to sit in the courtroom out of protest.
Yaremko was charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement with a weapon in June 2019 following an incident at a Stonebridge apartment complex.
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Senior Crown prosecutor Evan Thompson said the clothes Yaremko was intending to wear were confiscated after staff at Saskatoon Correctional Centre (SCC) found traces of heroin on a piece of clothing.
Those clothes were brought to the SCC by one of his family members.
Justice Naheed Bardai adjourned court for several hours to try and accommodate the requests.
“This is his trial. He needs to be here for it,” Bardai told both lawyers before a three-hour break between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The judge noted why Yaremko would want a change of clothes and a chance to shave but added that his decision would be made based on admissible evidence and not the appearance of witnesses and the accused.
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After 2 p.m., Bortis was told by SCC that any request for additional clothing for Yaremko would be denied.
Sheriffs at Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench advised Justice Bardai that the cells in the courthouse didn’t have the facilities, like a mirror, which would allow Yaremko to shave.
Neither request was able to be completed by 2 p.m., and Yaremko was brought into court by three sheriffs.
He sat in the prisoner’s box quietly for the most part, but the sheriffs left his handcuffs on when they had taken them off when he normally sat in the courtroom.
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The Crown planned to wrap its case Thursday, but that has been pushed back.
The prosecution will need to bring back its final witness, Saskatoon Police Service Constable Adam Shoffner, after Yaremko didn’t agree to something which his own lawyer, and the prosecutor had both agreed to.
This isn’t the first delay this trial has been through.
On Sept. 28, court adjourned early after Yaremko brought up that he didn’t have access to medication he was taking and that it was misplaced or lost by corrections staff.
He was taking one to control his blood pressure and another to control his nerves after he contracted COVID-19 while in remand.
The medication had to be sent from Regina later that afternoon.
The trial is scheduled to conclude Oct. 1.
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