Trial underway for former immigration judge accused of trading refugee status for sex
The ongoing trial of former immigration judge Steve Ellis has all the trappings of a forgettable Ray Liotta movie: secret video, innuendo, adult situations. Ellis, a one-time city councillor (who wasn’t particularly distinguished in his former profession, either), stands accused of offering refugee status to a woman in exchange for sex. Back in 2006, Ji-Hye Kim agreed to have coffee with him, and her then-boyfriend wired her for the meeting and filmed it from across the street. Ellis was caught delivering such ewww-inducing doozies as “I’ve been thinking about you a lot,” “I’d really like to be friends” and “Don’t tell your lawyer.” The real zinger: “I know you’ve got a boyfriend. I’ve got a wife, so I mean if we do things on the side together, that’s OK.”
The Crown is basically letting these statements speak for themselves while the defence attempts to portray Kim as a bogus refugee claimant who’d go to any lengths to get status. Criminal lawyer John Rosen, whose former clients have included model citizens Chris Little and Paul Bernardo, is also banking on semantics. In his cross-examination of Kim, Rosen points out that Ellis never actually used the word “sex.” Rosen said to Kim, “There was no sexual talk at all, was there?”
Not exactly, Kim replied. But he did say this: “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…I’m not going to fall in love with you.”
Phew. That’s a relief.
• Immigration judge on trial in sex-related case [CTV]
• Refugee judge didn’t ask for sex explicitly, court told [Toronto Star]