Sameer Kara

TORONTO police officers Sameer Kara, Leslie Nyznik and Joshua Cabero, who each pleaded not guilty this week to a charge of sexual assault before Superior Court Justice Anne Molloy, have opted for a judge alone trial.

The Toronto Star reported that in pretrial arguments, the defence suggested media coverage of sexual assault trials has created “widespread bias” against those accused of sexual assault.

The three men are accused of sexually assaulting a female parking enforcement officer in a hotel room in January 2015 while she was too drunk to consent and slipping in and out of consciousness. Charges of gang sexual assault were dropped by the Crown.

The trial is now set to begin next week.

When charges were laid in 2015, there was much publicity in the South Asian media because Kara had once appeared in a TV documentary film about dating in the South Asian community.

He said: “I’m looking to get married. My parents expect me to be there already. I know what I want. Now, does what I want actually exist? I don’t know.”

Karar, now 33, was 26 at the time and described what he wanted in a potential partner: “Family values, respect, someone that has a career or who’s in school who’s trying to get a career. Someone in the South Asian community because at the end of the day, it’s easier, you have things in common. There’s nothing wrong to marry outside of the community, but I’m looking to stay in the box.”

He said: “Am I looking for the modern type? Yes and no. I want someone that has the old family values and culture that my parents were brought up with.”

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