Lowering the Bar
They met at a coffee shop to discuss her case and, in a conversation she secretly recorded, he said he wanted to be her "good friend," court was told Monday.
"You've got a boyfriend. I've got a wife," Steve Ellis told the 25-year-old woman, a federal prosecutor alleged Monday at the first day of his trial.
"You know if we do things on the side, that's okay. Don't worry, I'm not going to be demanding. I'm not going to ask you to move in with me or anything like that..."
He told her that although he had denied her refugee claim, he could still turn it around and, after he did, they could meet for a "big celebration," the prosecutor alleged. Ellis kissed her as they parted, Trefler added.
Kim, now 29, took the stand Monday and said that she first met Ellis at her refugee hearing on July 17, 2006, where he was the adjudicator.
She was seeking asylum in Canada because of a physically abusive father and threats from money lenders in her home country of South Korea, court heard.
During the hearing, Ellis asked her where she worked, lived and her marital status, Kim testified through a Korean interpreter. As it ended, he said he would make a decision in 30 days, she said.
On Sept. 13, Ellis visited her at the Ninth Gate restaurant, on Jarvis St. at Front St., where she worked as a waitress, she said. She testified that she asked him about her refugee claim and he said it hadn't yet been decided.
He came again for a meal on Sept. 22 and she asked again if he had made a decision. "He said that the decision wasn't made because there were a few areas in which he's confused," Kim testified.
He suggested they meet for coffee four days later if she wanted to ask more questions about her case, she said. She agreed to meet him at 7 p.m. on Sept. 26. "He said he would come to my place to pick me up."
Shortly after, she and her boyfriend devised their plan to record and videotape the conversation.
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I am not going to comment because the case is before the courts but I will ask this: How many women who have been in vulnerable situations in Canada didn't have the wherewithal to record what was happening?