Prior Legal Battles

MAY 1993 - Terri-Jean Bedford opens Bondage Bungalow in Thornhill, Ontario as Madame deSade. Bungalow has several rooms catering to adult fantasies such as cross-dressing, bondage and infantilism. No sex for sale.

SEPTEMBER 1994 - York Regional Police stage a 15 officer raid of the bungalow following a 12 week investigation. Two moving vans of furniture, equipment and possessions seized. 5 persons charged with being keepers and inmates of a bawdy house. Crown asks that Bedford to be held without bail. Bedford out on bail not permitted to return to her home. Police publicize the raid in press conference.

OCTOBER 1995 - First trial. Judge rules authorities did not specify in their charges what the crime was (i.e. judge agreed that Constitution protects citizens against vague charges). Charges were thrown out for all 5 defendants. Crown announces intention to appeal. Bedford's possessions remain seized. Crown refuses to drop charges on any of the defendants or return any possessions.

AUGUST 1996 - Crown wins appeal before Ontario Court of Appeal. Matter ordered back to trial. All 5 defendants in turn appeal to Supreme Court of Canada. All maintained their innocence fully.

JUNE 1997 - Supreme Court of Canada refuses to hear the case due to reasons of jurisdiction. Trial to proceed.

APRIL 1998 - Crown Attorney James McKeachie replaced by Peter Westgate. No reason given for the replacement.

Defendants now have defense team consisting of Murray Klippenstein, George Callahan and Brian Blumenthal. Crown drops the charges against all defendants, after almost 4 years, except Bedford. Blumenthal, who had represented only one of the other defendants, retires from defense team. Crown argues for disqualification of Klippenstein and Callahan from continuing to represent Bedford because they had represented 3 of the 4 former defendants. Klippenstein and Callahan argue against existence of conflict saying all those previously charged agree on facts and innocence. Judge ruled that Klippenstein and Callahan could no longer represent Bedford due to specific conflict regulations. The trial was postponed for 3 months to allow Bedford to obtain new counsel.

MAY 1998 - Alan Young, professor of criminal law at Osgoode Hall Law School heads new defense team along with Leah Daniels, professor of administrative law at Seneca College.

AUGUST to OCTOBER 1998 - A nine day trial spread over several weeks with in depth and often humorous media coverage. Transcripts total over 1,500 pages in 8 volumes. Numerous expert witness called by defense. At conclusion judge convicts Bedford and fines her $3,000. Judge was not forthcoming about whether bondage or any of the other activities in the Bungalow were in and of themselves illegal. In Bedford's words, on the day of the verdict: "The Judge still hasn't said what I can and can't do".

JANUARY 1999 - Bedford reopens in downtown Toronto in a 6 room establishment with a fully equipped dungeon and facilities for cross-dressers.

MARCH 2000 - Bedford appeals to Ontario Court of Appeal. Represented by Professor Young and high profile Toronto lawyer Paul Burstein. The appeal has many grounds including arguments of improper rulings on evidence, search and seizure and the basis for ruling an establishment as being a bawdy-house. In short, that she did not get a fair trial. The appeal was denied in what has widely been regarded as one of the most controversial and poorly written decisions of the Ontario Court of Appeal.

AUGUST 2000 - Bedford seeks leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Application for leave prepared by lawyers David Corbett, Lucy McSweeney and Timothy Banks. The court declined to hear the appeal. Bedford paid the fine. Mr. Corbett is an expert in constitutional law. He is now a judge. Two of the important reasons for seeking to appeal concern the Ontario Court's extended definition of prostitution and the need to prevent abuse of authority during investigations and in collecting evidence.

OCTOBER 2000 - Bedford, accompanied by the media, retrieves over 700 items seized by the police in 1994 - including the famous chandelier and common dictionary.

JUNE 2001 - Bedford expands her establishment to 11 rooms. It now includes a "Bondage Hotel" catering to tourists.

JUNE 2002 - Bedford closes her establishment as the building required major repairs. She continues to practice as a Dominatrix in the Toronto area.

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