ICYMI, Jessica Yaniv Simpson was in court yesterday, May 24, 2022, to address charges that they assaulted Rebel News reporter Keean Bexte. You can read all about yesterdays events here.
May 25, 2022, Preamble
Today is Yaniv’s second trial day. At the end of the day yesterday, Crown had finished questioning Keean Bexte and defense attorney Patrick Johnston was well underway with his cross examination of Bexte. Today we expect Bexte to finish on the stand and Yaniv to take his turn.
Live Update 1: Morning Break
Yaniv arrived wearing the same dress. He is quietly saying to his lawyer that he feels weak, like he’s going to throw up. His bra strap is hanging low again, and he has two insulin pumps/patches on (readers can correct me on what they are exactly). He went on to complain to his lawyer about his claimed genetic hearing disorder and how it was hard to hear him, claiming he has 40% hearing left.
As he did yesterday, Yaniv has requested a spoken-to-English translator, and an audio device so Yaniv can easily hear the Judge. The tech wizard was struggling to get it to work.
Yaniv’s defense lawyer mentioned a concern about users in the courtroom live tweeting to the courtroom, and users on Teams posting to social media during court. The Judge reminded all that publishing the court photos or videos is illegal but commenting on events is not.
Strangely, Yaniv was logged in to the Teams courtroom in addition to being there in person – obviously snooping on who was on Teams watching him.
Around 9:50 am, Johnston resumed cross examination of Bexte. He continued with his push to blame the incident on Yaniv slipping and falling. Johnston brought up how Bexte had been to previous court hearings and to Yaniv’s residence in the past. With that, Bexte’s questioning ended. Crown had no further re-examination.
At this point, Simpson took the witness stand.
JY was not visible on camera at this time. Johnston asked Yaniv to clarify his name, including his name in 2020, and age. It was brought up that Yaniv is a trans woman and relies on captioning for hearing, and has numerous medical issues including T2 diabetes, high cholesterol, fibromyalgia, chronic regional pain syndrome, fatigue syndrome, central sensitivity syndrome, gender identity disorder, and others that were hard to hear.
Yaniv went on to say Rebel Media, Donald Smith, MeowMix, Culture Guard, Donald Smith, Billboard Chris, and The Post Millennial had been in attendance at his Jan 13, 2020 hearing. He said Keean Bexte was there for Rebel, and he had two previous encounters with Bexte, which he described as scary.
Yaniv went on to say that he was in court that day for a hearing for his weapons charge, and he knows a lot about law, and wanted to avoid confrontation by arriving at court early. He says he took the HandyDart to court this day to avoid driving in the snow and arrive early/safely.
Yaniv says he first encountered Bexte that day inside the courthouse, where Bexte asked him if he was pleading guilty today. Yaniv twice said “the RCMP told me…,” while crown objected because it was hearsay. The judge agreed and told Yaniv not to say that. Yaniv still did, and the Judge reprimanded Yaniv for not obeying him.
At this point, defense showed the video from the Surrey courthouse exterior. Yaniv described the scene as he had attended court that morning and saw that the RCMP escort he requested was not there, so he was leaving to phone the RCMP and demand an explanation. When he left at 12:30, he saw Bexte and noticed he had a camera, so Yaniv notified the Sheriffs. Yaniv said Bexte was detained, so he was going to a safe place and go to Surrey RCMP detachment to catch a cab home. The video shows Bexte “rushing” out with a cell phone mounted on a tripod. Yaniv said he chose instead to retreat to the courthouse to wait for RCMP to arrive, hiding under protection of the Sheriffs.
For clarity, he was scheduled to be in court at 2. He opted to arrive early because he knows a lot about law and wanted to come in early to outwit his enemies. He phoned RCMP at 7:30 for an escort. He then took a HandyDart to court and police didn’t arrive to escort him, so he went into the courthouse. Then he saw Bexte and tried to leave. Bexte followed him, so he retreated behind sheriffs inside the courthouse, then his afternoon court appearance came and went, and he sought additional instruction in a second courtroom after that (a pub ban). Keean was still at the courthouse. He says he was told to leave at 4:20.
He then added that an incident of voyeurism occurred in the courthouse bathroom earlier, and he notified sheriffs, and he was advised to call RCMP. There was a back-and-forth fight between Sheriffs and RCMP over who would manage the voyeurism situation. Yaniv says he went another courtroom to apply for a publication ban and seek instruction on the file he was in attendance for. At this point he says he saw Bexte outside the room “antagonizing him with his facial expressions” so he made at least twelve calls to 911 because it was an emergency. During this time, Yaniv kept saying people advised him to do this or that, such as stay put, or leave the courthouse. At 4:20 he was advised he had to leave the courthouse, and he said he was given no security.
Yaniv said he “quickly scurried” out of the courthouse and as he was leaving, he saw Bexte in an SUV parked across the street. He said Keean had multiple cameras on him and “rushed him.” Yaniv said Bexte had a GoPro camera on him, his cellphone, and another unknown recording device on the left side of his body that was pulsing red that he doesn’t know what it was.
When asked if Yaniv ever physically contacted him, Yaniv says not intentionally. Yaniv says he asked Bexte to turn his camera off and then tried to turn off Bexte’s camera and point it away from him. He says he didn’t just walk away from Bexte because he was in heels and it was too icy to run (even though he wanted to run) and he felt threatened by Bexte and he was worried he would fall in the middle of the street and be hit by a car, or Bexte could be hit by a car.
When asked to describe the devices Bexte had on him, he described a standard GoPro Hero 6 with a Gorilla tripod, an iPhone, and an unknown blinking red device on his body.
Johnston asked if Yaniv ever lost his balance on the ice. Yaniv said yes, when he first attended in the morning, and again when he attempted to leave at the end of the day. He pointed out a patch of ice on the video, saying he slipped forward, and tried to grab the first thing so he didn’t fall on his face. The “first thing” was Bexte. He says he grabbed on to Bexte’s right shoulder so neither of them would slip on the ice, but he didn’t intend to grab Bexte.
Yaniv describes the next events as him sliding forward and not being able to retain his footing, and that Bexte could not “grasp onto the ground” either. When video showed Yaniv’s arm extended towards Bexte, Yaniv says he was trying to turn off Bexte’s camera. He says he was not trying to physically contact Bexte.
Defense then brought up Yaniv’s diabetes, asking if Yaniv had medical issues that day. Yaniv said he did. He said he didn’t have time to eat that day between 6 am and 4:20 that evening, and “went into hypoglycemia”. He said he has a panic button on him, connected to Telus, which will dispatch emergency services, and he pressed this button at 4:10. He said he wasn’t feeling well and wanted to go to the hospital to be hooked up to IV saline with sugar to restore his blood sugar. He said he advised sheriffs he needed help and it never came, and he was experiencing these symptoms during the video showing him and Bexte.
Yaniv described hypoglycemic feelings as not being in control and “get sugar.” Because the café at the courthouse was closed and the courthouse vending machines were entirely empty, he had to rush home.
Yaniv says he then called RCMP, and (coincidental timing) an RCMP cruiser arrived at this time. He said his goal was to escape Bexte. He wanted Bexte to leave him alone and didn’t try to touch Bexte or his equipment.
He says an East Indian RCMP constable arrived.
Yaniv says he never threatened Bexte nor made any deliberate contact with Bexte’s body. This concluded Johnston’s examination.
Crown began to cross examine Yaniv now.
Crown asked if Bexte made any threats to Yaniv, to which he said no.
Crown asked if he was angry when he left the courthouse. Yaniv said yes, he was in a fragile state of mind.
Crown asked if he liked Rebel Media, and he said no, and that Rebel has been intimidating and defamatory towards him. When asked if Yaniv hates their reporters, he said yes. He says Rebel has very harsh anti-LGBTQ, and anti-trans views. When asked if the sight of Bexte makes him angry, he said it doesn’t make him angry, but it makes him scared. Yaniv said he was “frightful.”
When asked if he lost his temper at court that day at 4:20, Yaniv said no, but admitted he raised his voice because for 6 hours he was not able to get the care he needed because Bexte was at the courthouse.
Yaniv said he was tired of Bexte’s behaviour that day, and exhausted. He mentioned another incident that he was exposed to and traumatized by and didn’t get any help.
At one point Yaniv says he was pissed off, but then says he wasn’t. Even the Judge called him out on the discrepancy and asked for clarity.
Crown asked Yaniv the same question a few times and called him out for being unresponsive to whether he was angry that day. Yaniv rambled on and on about why he was angry without saying if he was angry.
Crown quoted Yaniv, saying that Yaniv had previously stated “I was quite pissed off and in a fragile state of mind” so why did he later say he was not pissed off?
Yaniv says he was pissed off because he was hypoglycemic, and he had called the ambulance 12 times and the sheriffs and ambulance service and RCMP did not help him. He was angry at everyone.
Yaniv said Bexte did not threaten him. He only asked Yaniv if he was going to plead guilty (repeatedly).
Morning break .
Live Update 2: 12:00 PM Pacific
Crown resumed questioning after break by questioning Yanivs memory. Yaniv had described Bexte’s outfit as a beige brown jacket, but the video shows Bexte wearing a dark heavy winter coat with a fur lined collar. Crown also then says that Yaniv was incorrect that an officer of East Indian descent stopped the altercation. Yaniv said he knows she was East Indian by her skin colour, saying she was brownish and had an Indian accent.
Crown then showed the video Bexte took, which shows the police officer. Crown points out that the officer has a French last name, and in the video, you can hear her accent. Video shows a Caucasian officer speaking in a French-Canadian accent. Yaniv says she looks East Indian to him.
Addressing Yaniv’s comment that he was afraid to fall on the road in heels, Crown says he moved quickly across the snow to address Bexte. Yaniv said he wanted to go as fast as he could to the RCMP detachment. Crown corrects him, and says he approached Bexte quickly – the opposite direction of the RCMP detachment. Yaniv agrees that he moved towards Bexte. When asked if he did it quickly or slowly, Yaniv was evasive, saying it wasn’t slow or fast, not running or jogging, slightly faster than a normal pace.
When asked if the path towards the RCMP station was clear of snow, which Crown showed on video to be free of snow, Yaniv agreed that section was free of snow. Yaniv said he wouldn’t say it was totally clear.
When asked if it was more clear than the area at which he approached Bexte, Yaniv says yes. The court plaza has a lot of ice and snow, but the sidewalks were cleaned. This it at the 1:07 mark of Bexte’s video.
Crown and Yaniv agree that there are other people, including his mother, walking around the area, and they’re on CCTV.
Crown showed a video which shows Yaniv and Bexte’s encounter, and he doesn’t call 911. Yaniv disagrees, saying his phone has a panic button on the side, where he can press a button 5 times for emergency services (many new phones have this).
While reviewing video footage showing Yaniv leaving the court, Yaniv says he saw Bexte out of the corner of his eye. Crown asked if he pursued Bexte as Bexte retreated backwards. Yaniv says he disagrees. Crown points out the video showing Bexte stopping, and Yaniv turning to approach. Yaniv says he’s actually walking towards the police detachment even though video shows him walking 180 degrees away from it.
Crown points out that Yaniv is walking away from safety, away from the RCMP station, towards Bexte.
Yaniv then says he started slipping on the ice as he advanced towards Bexte. Crown asks if he agrees that his weight shifts forward. Yaniv says he was sliding. Crown asked if he was controlled enough to take steps AND slide at the same time. Yaniv is evasive about how he moved towards Bexte.
When Crown asks if the video shows Yaniv’s fist in the air, Yaniv says he can’t see. Crown asks if the video (now zoomed in) shows Yaniv’s hand connecting with Bexte’s head, Yaniv says no, saying he can’t see it.
When asked if someone walking backwards poses an immediate threat to Yaniv, Yaniv says yes, based on the circumstances. Crown says, “the circumstances in which he made no threats to you?”. Yaniv says the circumstances of past events.
Crown asked if Yaniv pursued him because he was mad. Yaniv says Keean made him angry because he didn’t listen to his request to leave him alone.
Crown asks if Yaniv agrees that he is larger than Bexte, and Yaniv says maybe 40 lbs heavier and 2” taller.
When asked if Yaniv could return to the safety of the court, Yaniv says no because it was closed. Crown says he could go to the safety of the RCMP station. Yaniv said no, because he didn’t know Bexte’s plans.
Yaniv says he was told by a Sherriff told him to take matters into his own hands.
When asked why he couldn’t just walk to the RCMP station for safety, Yaniv said “when he has an individual harassing him for 6 hours, he has to take those motives into consideration, and nobody of reasonable and sound mind is going to take 6 hours outside the courthouse when it was -15”. (Editor…I checked weather history after this. It was -5C that day according to this.)
When Crown said Yaniv abandoned his plan to move to safety towards the RCMP station, Yaniv said he didn’t abandon it. He said he wanted to get to safety by ensuring Bexte didn’t follow him. Yaniv said that road he had to cross was a high-speed road and he’s seen people go 70 or 80 kph down that road, even that he himself has gone quickly down that road.
When asked if Yaniv agrees that the speed limit is 30 kph outside that courthouse, and that there are speed bumps on that road, Yaniv says he didn’t know.
When asked if he ever raised his fist to Bexte, Yaniv says no.
Crown showed Bexte’s video, which at 6 seconds in shows Yaniv’s hand raised above his head. Yaniv says his hand was raised to his breast level. Crown said Yaniv had just said earlier that he had never raised his fist.
When video shows Yaniv’s hand coming down towards Bexte, Yaniv says he disagrees with Crown’s assertion.
At the 9 second mark, video shows Yaniv’s hand in a fist. Yaniv agrees it is a fist, around his shoulders, and then it moves out of view. When Crown pointed out Yaniv’s arm angle is at 90 degrees, meaning his hand would be above his head, Yaniv says that Bexte can edit videos.
The Judge calls him out, saying Yaniv already accepted this video as authentic so he should answer the question. Yaniv then agrees to the angle of his arm. Note that the Judge was quite firm with JY at this point. Yaniv had previously agreed the video was genuine so he could not now claim Bexte edited it.
When Crown resumes the video showing Yaniv chasing Bexte away, Yaniv is asked if he is a threat to his safety, and Yaniv says yes. Yaniv clarifies that he is the same level of threat, and nothing has changed.
When Yaniv says he always feel under threat by Bexte, Crown points out that Yaniv felt safe enough to walk away from Bexte twice that day already. Crown points out that Yaniv had twice chosen to walk away from Yaniv, but chose not to walk away from him this time.
Yaniv says he was still trying to get away from Bexte. Yaniv says he was scurrying quickly off. Crown says he was scurrying quickly towards him. Yaniv says he didn’t do it quickly – it was just a slightly faster than normal pace.
Crown then ended their examination, and Defense had no further questions.
Breaking for lunch now.
Live Update 3: 2:35 PM Pacific.
After the lunch recess…
Johnston was first up to make submissions. Johnston said Crown didn’t prove assault beyond reasonable doubt and asked for acquittal. During the trial, Yaniv admitted force was applied to Bexte, but wants the Judge to consider that the contact made was not made wilfully by Yaniv.
Johnston says Yaniv and Bexte had a history and that Bexte had made several attempts throughout the day to film/question Yaniv against Yaniv’s wishes. Finally, at 4:20 that afternoon, they had a final encounter which resulted in Yaniv being charged. At this time, Bexte approached Yaniv from behind, and Yaniv confronted Bexte.
It’s the defense theory that any force applied by Yaniv to Bexte was incidental and was intended to redirect or obstruct the cameras Bexte had, and contact beyond that point was involuntary owing to Yaniv losing balance while wearing high heels while hypoglycemic while standing on snowy/icy ground.
Johnston also questioned whether Bexte was credible, based on the evidence in the trial. Specifically, there was a bias between the two, and Bexte had made disparaging tweets, including transphobic tweets.
Johnston suggested that Bexte tends to sensationalize and has a bias towards Yaniv which calls his credibility into question, and that he was evasive during the trial.
Johnston said the most obvious issue with Bexte’s testimony is the injuries Bexte claims to have. Bexte testified that he was left with bruising on his head, but Yaniv was not charged with assault causing bodily harm or a more serious charge. Bexte did not attend medical treatment or photograph his injuries. If Bexte had injuries from this encounter, Johnston posits, Bexte would have been quick to document these.
Johnston says Yaniv was not a perfect witness, but they were clear and unshaken about the force and offered a solid explanation of events. This was Johnstons way to say Yaniv should be taken as the more credible witness than Bexte.
Johnston says the burden of proof was not met and invited the Judge to acquit.
At this time, Crown made their submissions. Crown started by referencing the videos, saying they speak for themselves
When addressing if Yaniv was trying to move the cameras away, Crown says that was inconsistent Yaniv’s testimony. Yaniv said they were trying to turn off the camera to Crown but turn away the camera to Johnston.
Crown says Yaniv’s testimony did not raise any reasonable doubt. Instead, Bexte was careful in his answers and answered the questions to the best of his ability. Regarding Bexte’s tweets about special treatment for trans people, Crown says Bexte did have an explanation – the beginning of the tweet was about Yaniv, while the ending part of the tweet was a generic observation. The unresponsive answers about the tweets don’t detract from Bexte’s credibility.
Addressing why Bexte didn’t photograph his bruised head, Crown points out he had a full head of hair to hide bruising, and Bexte didn’t even know if the case would proceed anywhere at that time.
Crown states that the video is clearly showing Yaniv assaulting Bexte as Yaniv swipes their arms repeatedly at Bexte, and you can see and hear contact, including a raised fist.
Crown had five reasons the Judge should not accept Yaniv’s statements. First, animus, Yaniv admitted hating Bexte and Rebel.
Second, Yaniv’s testimony was inconsistent and evolved during questioning.
Third, Yaniv’s testimony was contradicted by video evidence.
Fourth, Yaniv exaggerated some details and minimized others details instead of giving accurate testimony. It’s not believable that Yaniv felt threatened and had no choice but to turn and charge at Bexte instead of taking the clear path to safety at the RCMP station, and that Yaniv was evasive when asked about this. Yaniv said they wanted to avoid ice and snow, and then charged across it to address a threat.
Lastly, Yaniv gave evasive answers on cross examination. Yaniv used their testimony to air grievances against Bexte and other third parties and gave long winded answers for no reason, and would not concede basic points, even alleging a video was doctored.
Crown submitted that this case meets both prongs for assault convictions – Yaniv intentionally applied force to Bexte both directly and indirectly (if testimony by Yaniv is to be believed), and second, Yaniv charged towards Bexte and, when Bexte retreated, Bexte had the reasonable belief that Yaniv was about to apply force with intent to harm him. Crown invited the Judge to convict Yaniv of assault.
With that, Court adjourned for a brief break.
Editor Note: During final submissions, a user named AAA on MS Teams unmuted her mic and was heard saying a single sentence which we can’t remember. It wasn’t anything unusual that she said, but Yaniv clasped his hand over his mouth and then removed it and said something to his lawyer. After discussing it with multiple people, we believe we read JY’s lips and he said “that was Samantha!” to his lawyer.
Also note that earlier in the day we noted the AAA user logged on and then Yaniv waved at the camera seconds later – before court began. He kept looking at his phone, then the camera and smiling. He also flashed his ring at the camera – the ring we mentioned yesterday.
We may be wrong about the lip reading, and we’re not expert lip readers, but this is what a couple of us agree on, and Yaniv’s giggly face supports it. It was a female voice, but we can’t remember what was said. It wasn’t related to the court events though. Something like “just leave this here” or similar.
Live Update 4: Court is back in session at 3 PM Pacific.
Yaniv was found guilty of assaulting Keean Bexte. Sentencing then proceeded.
Upon returning to the courtroom…
The Judge started by announcing Yaniv’s charges, one count of assault.
Crown is seeking a 16-18 month suspended sentence, good behaviour, no contact, no weapons, no knives, counselling , mental health, violence prevention, anger management. Crown brought up a conditional discharge from Yaniv’s weapons charge. Offense date was 5 Aug 2019.
Bexte had a victim impact statement. Crown read it. It said the assault caused Bexte bruising, pain, international embarrassment, and anxiety, and it made his family worry about him. Bexte says his employer was forced to hire security to protect him at a large cost, which changed the value of Bexte as an employee and made him less effective at his job, which eventually led to him and Rebel parting ways.
Crown brought up aggravating factors that Yaniv was on a bail order/undertaking for the weapons offense when the assault occurred, and that it was an assault on a member of the media doing their job. Mitigating factors were Yaniv’s health and Rebel’s bias towards her.
Crown did not want Yaniv to benefit from a second conditional discharge in a brief time and would benefit from counselling and probation.
In terms of ancillary orders, Crown wants a DNA sample for records.
Defense responded that a more appropriate sentence would be a conditional discharge with 12-14 months probation, arguing that the circumstances of this offense do not warrant a criminal record. Defense argued that Yaniv is a trans woman and has suffered adverse consequences, some of those were apparent in this case. Defense states Yaniv has a number of health concerns and was in a car accident and still suffers the effects of that. Simpson is engaged in pro-social activities, including furthering her education. Defense provided letters of acceptance for Criminal Justice studies at Douglas College and supplementing those with courses at UFV. Yaniv says their dream career is a career in law. However, right now they are unemployed and living on disability. Referring to Yaniv’s car accident, Defense says Yaniv is seeing a counselor in relation to PTSD due to a car accident and a sexual assault when Yaniv was younger. Yaniv says they are seeing a therapist (Chrisoula Litaris) who specializes in cognitive behaviour therapy.
Defense points out mitigating factors, including a clean criminal record (remember the conditional discharge). If Yaniv had a record, getting a criminal conviction today could impact Yaniv’s future career opportunities.
Defense concludes that Yaniv is before the court without a record and is taking steps towards rehabilitation and furthering their career and education, and has recently become engaged to a woman named Samantha. These should all be mitigating factors in Yaniv’s sentencing.
The Judge then weighed in with his decision.
Yaniv was sentenced to a second conditional discharge, probation for 14 months. No DNA sample order was granted. Yaniv must see a probation officer, attend counselling. Must report to a probation officer in person by 3 pm May 27, 2022, and as directed after that. Yaniv must provide his home address and phone number and may not change those details without advance notification. Yaniv must attend and complete any counselling program directed by his probation officer which may include violence prevention or anger management. Yaniv’s reporting ends when he has completed, he has completed all his treatment and the officer says he is no longer required to report. Yaniv may have no contact directly or indirectly with Bexte. He must not go to or be within any place Bexte lives, works, etc. Yaniv must not possess any weapon as defined by the Canada Criminal Code or possess any knife except in the preparation or eating of food. The victim fine surcharge was waived.
Yaniv was seen crying at this time. Yaniv understood the conditions. This concluded todays events. Yaniv then asked Sheriffs to escort him to his vehicle.
Editor Note: We now have confirmation that Yaniv is engaged to Samantha, but still believe it is a relationship-for-money situation. Our source also says Samantha is still denying any contact with Yaniv, including today, which we know not to be true.