Toronto police have arrested former Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi on charges of sexual assault and choking, the Toronto Police Service said Wednesday.
According to a statement on the agency’s website, Ghomeshi surrendered to police Wednesday morning and was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking.
Ghomeshi appeared Wednesday afternoon at a hearing in a Toronto courtroom, where a judge set his bail at $100,000, the Associated Press reported. Ghomeshi was also ordered to turn over his passport and live with his mother. The AP reported that a publication ban on details of the case had been imposed.
In a statement, Ghomeshi's attorney, Marie Henein, said that her client would plead not guilty and that Ghomeshi, who walked silently through a crowd of reporters at the courthouse after being freed on bail, wouldn't be commenting further on the allegations. "We will defend and respond to these allegations fully and directly in a court of law," Henein said. "It is not our practice to litigate matters in the media."
Police say they began investigating the former Canadian Broadcasting Corp. personality on Oct. 31 after "several allegations" of sexual assault were made. Ghomeshi, 47, was fired from his job as host of the CBC radio show “Q” on Oct. 26, and was dropped by his publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, shortly after.
The CBC declined to comment to The Times on Wednesday.
Since then, at least nine women have publicly accused Ghomeshi of sexual harassment as well as physical and sexual assault.
In a lengthy Facebook post denying the allegations, Ghomeshi claimed that he was the target of a revenge plot by a woman 20 years his junior, who he said began a campaign to portray their “rough sex” as non-consensual. The Facebook post has since been taken down.
He claimed that the CBC was firing him “because of what I do in my private life,” and later sued the network for $55 million and his reinstatement.
Ghomeshi dropped the suit Wednesday, the CBC reported. The network also said its former host would pay $18,000 in legal costs that it had incurred.
Ghomeshi is due in court again on Jan. 8, according to the AP.
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