Pubdate: Sat, 27 Jun 2015
Source: Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Author: Michelle McQuigge
Page: A5


Laura Liscio Alleges Police Engaged in Malicious Prosecution

TORONTO - A Toronto lawyer once accused of smuggling drugs into a 
courthouse and arrested in front of colleagues and clients is suing 
police for malicious prosecution, her lawyer said Friday.

Laura Liscio filed a defamation lawsuit last month seeking $1.5 
million in damages from the Peel Regional Police Service, but is 
planning to amend the claim now that all criminal charges have been dropped.

Liscio's lawyer, Louis Sokolov, said new documents will be filed in 
the coming weeks alleging the police conducted a negligent 
investigation and engaged in a malicious prosecution.

"Peel Regional Police arrested Ms. Liscio without reasonable cause to 
do so," Sokolov said, summarizing allegations laid out in a statement 
of claim. "They arrested her in a manner that was designed to be 
humiliating to her ... and then they proceeded to publish a number of 
press releases that were false and malicious and intended to, and in 
fact did, damage her reputation."

Peel police did not immediately comment. No statement of defence has 
been filed.

Liscio's statement of claim alleges her reputation as a criminal 
lawyer was irreparably damaged on Feb. 12, 2015, as she was preparing 
to defend a client in the courthouse in Brampton, Ont.

According to the statement, Liscio had obtained permission to bring a 
change of clothes for her client. When court inspectors examined the 
clothing, however, they found marijuana hidden in the hollowed-out 
heels of shoes.

Shortly after this discovery, the statement said Liscio was arrested 
in the courtroom, handcuffed and marched through the courthouse in 
full view of the public. The statement alleges that officers informed 
Liscio that they had instructions to conduct the arrest in this way 
and ignored pleas to cover the handcuffs and walk her through a more 
discreet route.

After allowing her to contact her lawyer, the suit alleges police 
repeated the "perp walk" by leading a handcuffed Liscio back through 
the courthouse to a marked police car.

Peel Police originally issued two press releases offering a different 
version of events, but would later retract some of those details.

The force initially said that Liscio was escorted through the 
courthouse without handcuffs and later taken, in civilian clothes, to 
an unmarked cruiser.

Days later, the force issued a correction acknowledging that Liscio 
was arrested in her court attire, led from the courtroom in handcuffs 
and then later taken to a marked police vehicle.

Sokolov said the correction, which he described as incomplete, made 
Liscio's situation worse.
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