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Christopher Duke granted bail as he appeals sexual assault conviction

A judge ruled that detaining Duke while he awaited the outcome of his appeal “was not necessary in the public interest.”

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A Regina man convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl has been released on bail pending a decision on his appeal of that conviction and subsequent verdict.

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Christopher Cameron Duke, 53, was sentenced by King’s Bench Court on July 28 Judge Graeme Mitchell. On November 21, he was sentenced to five years in federal prison for the July 31, 2019 crime.

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How Duke and the victim were in contact is not reported, in accordance with the no-publication policy to protect the victim’s identity.

On December 9, his legal counsel filed documents to appeal both the conviction and the verdict, and 20 days later, Saskatchewan Court of Appeals Judge Jillyne Drennan ordered Duke released on bail pending the outcome of his appeal is pending.

That’s according to court documents containing the court order recently obtained by the Leader-Post.

These documents state that Drennan was satisfied that: Duke’s appeal is not frivolous, he will surrender himself in accordance with the terms of the warrant, and that his detention is not required in the public interest.

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However, his release is subject to a long list of conditions, including: keep calm and behave decently; appear in court if necessary; reside at a specific address; report to a bail bond officer if necessary; to place himself in custody should his conviction be upheld; do not have contact with leniency witnesses and do not visit their places of residence, educational institutions or places of employment or refer to them on social media; use, possess or consume drugs or alcohol unless directed to do so by a doctor; place a $2,000 cash deposit; submit the required court documents in a timely manner; appear in court in person on set dates and; handed over to detention as required if he has time left to serve detention according to the court order.

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While Crown Attorney Leona Andrews, who represented the case in court, asked Mitchell to take Duke into custody immediately after his conviction, Mitchell agreed to allow the convict to remain on bail pending sentencing.

At the time, Andrews told the media the scenario was not unusual and there was no indication that Duke had breached the terms of his bail up to that point.

However, he was handcuffed and taken into custody after his sentencing.

In his appeal, filed by his counsel, Duke alleges that Mitchell erred in approximately six areas in arriving at his sentencing decision, and in one area in his sentencing decision.

During closing arguments, the Crown argued that witness testimony and text messages sent between the victim and her brother supported the prosecution, while the defense raised questions about collusion between the children.

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The judge heard significant arguments about the reliability and credibility of the testimony of the applicant, her siblings and the Duke.

DNA evidence also played a large role in the trial, although the defense argued that none of it was conclusive.

In finding Duke guilty, Mitchell barely accepted defense attorney Chris MacLeod’s arguments. The judge found Duke’s “evasive maneuvers” on the witness stand instructive, damning the DNA evidence, and the testimony of the victim and her brother both credible and reliable.

No fact has yet been filed by Duke on the case, which would provide a more specific explanation of where he thinks Mitchell erred.

A date for the oral hearing before the court of appeal has not yet been set.

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