I have known Kev Kelly for a long time, as an energetic young liberal, a fellow broadcaster and journalist. He hails from Marystown and started his career at the same place I did, CHCM.
I was shocked to learn in 2012 that he was charged with internet luring. A charge like that for a public personality is often the kiss of death for a career. Once something like this is out there, no matter what the outcome - the damage is done.
The first thing I did was call him to offer him some moral support. I have kept in touch with him from time to time over the past two grueling years of financial, legal and employment limbo.
The whole ordeal has been bizarre, he was charged, than the charges were dropped and later prosecuted again. There has been issues with evidence. Delay after delay. Justice turned in spasms in this case.
Today, Judge James Walsh entered a stay of proceedings in the Crown's case against him. This means that this trial is over - for now - and most likely indefinably,
but he has not been acquitted. The court can subsequently lift the stay and resume proceedings.
Walsh was critical of the RNC over their handling of evidence. It would appear they disposed of evidence taken from Kelly's work and home computers that was vital to the case.
The bottom line is that without the evidence needed to pursue this case the crown and the RNC went forward demonstrating an extreme prejudice. Kevin's life has been ruined. He has lost his job, his relationship and god only knows what financial hardship he has endured.
The alleged victim in this case can argue that justice was not done either.
I am sure Kevin would have preferred to have had an acquittal based on the evidence. Instead his reputation has been sullied by a process that could not have led to a conviction because the evidence was not there. He lost his job and will carry the very public stigma of the charge and the perception that he "got off" for the rest of his life.
This is just not good enough. It is embarrassing for the RNC, the courts and the notion of justice in a supposedly free and democratic system.