Patron found guilty on charges of assault
June 29, 2022, 2:30 pm
A jury has found Travis Patron, former leader of the Canadian Nationalist Party and a candidate in Souris-Moose Mountain, guilty on two counts of assault causing bodily harm. Patron’s political party was de-registered earlier this year because it fell short of the membership numbers every party has to maintain.
Patron assaulted two Regina teachers in downtown Regina on Nov. 2, 2019.
It took 90 minutes for the jury to come to a decision Thursday afternoon.
A sentencing hearing for Patron is scheduled for July 20th. Patron plans to represent himself at the sentencing hearing, as he did at the trial.
Patron sat silently for most of the trial, turning down the opportunity to cross-examine the Crown’s three witnesses, to testify himself, or to submit evidence.
He did make closing remarks, however, telling the jury the indictment against him is “manifestly without merit and destined to fail.”
“My submission is multi-faceted, but I’ve consolidated it into a single faith-based argument,” Patron said.
He argued the court fails to recognize him as a defense lawyer, which prevents him from making his case. During the trial, however, when the judge asked Patron if he had anything to say or if he wanted to cross-examine witnesses he sat silently, which the judge said she took as a no.
After Patron started his remarks, the judge stopped him and e eventually dismissed the jury to speak with the Patron.
Patron then resumed his statement, claiming that Cst. Jessica McBride, who responded to the assaults “departed from impartiality” by taking the victims to the hospital in a police vehicle.
The judge had to stop Patron from speaking about matters that weren’t presented in court a second time when Patron began discussing jury selection.
“That is not appropriate and it is unlawful,” the judge told him.
Patron ended his closing statement by asking for forgiveness on both counts.
“To forget is human, but to forgive is divine. Be willing to forgive,” he told the jury before sitting down.
Crown prosecutor Ryan Snyder asked the jury to find Patron guilty on both charges during his closing remarks.
The victims, Amanda Ruschiensky and Allison Tokarz, both testified they went out for drinks at Victoria’s Tavern following a tribute concert at Casino Regina. They said they met Patron at the bar.
At the end of the night, the women told court, they were outside Ruschiensky’s friend’s apartment building waiting for a ride home when Patron approached them on the street.
He offered them a ride home, the women testified. After repeatedly declining his offer, Ruschiensky said Patron “shushed” her.
“Nobody shushes me,” Ruschiensky said to him.
At that point Patron smacked her in the head, Ruschiensky testified.
Ruschiensky helped Tokarz into the apartment building foyer, following a couple that had let themselves in with a key card, she said.
During closing remarks, Snyder played surveillance video taken inside the apartment building foyer that showed the assault. He told the jury the video is an important piece of evidence.
The video shows two women entering the foyer. When one goes to leave, Patron walks inside and knocks one of the women to the ground and grabs the other. He hits both of them again before walking out of the building.
The surveillance tape matches the series of events that both Ruschiensky and Tokarz described in their testimony.
The crown submitted a phone call and screenshots of text messages sent to Ruschiensky as evidence, showing Patron’s attempts to apologize to Ruschiensky for the assault.
Ruschiensky suffered a concussion from the assault, she testified, which left her unable to work for an extended period. Tokarz had her right wrist broken in the assault. Both women testified they have suffered from emotional stress since the assault.
As the judge instructed the jury, she asked them to disregard some of Patron’s claims in his closing statement.
She said Patron was given ample opportunity to cross examine the victims and told the jury that the crown has not acted maliciously as Patron claimed in his remarks.
The judge told the jurors that, while Patron asked for forgiveness, their role is to judge the facts in the case.