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Woman charged with obstruction after jury tampering
Erica Levin has been charged with obstruction of justice after police say she attempted to bribe a juror to secure a not-guilty vote.
Published Friday, February 8, 2013 7:54AM MST
Last Updated Friday, February 8, 2013 12:42PM MST
Calgary Police have charged Erica Levin, the wife of convicted sex offender Aubrey Levin, with obstruction after she allegedly attempted to bribe a juror during his court case.
Police first heard of the incident through Alberta Justice when a member of the sitting jury reported that she had been approached by a relative of the accused.
She said that she was offered money in exchange for a vote of not guilty in the case.
The juror was removed from the jury following the accusation and an investigation was launched by members of the Calgary Police Service.
Erica Levin, 69, was arrested on February 7, and charged with obstruction of justice.
Bruce Walker with the Calgary Police Service says that they had to wait until Dr. Levin's trial was over before progressing with the charges against his wife.
He says tampering with a jury is a very serious offence. "If you take a look at the Criminal Code in regards to justice, tampering with the jury is placed at the high end of the spectrum. It is punishable up to ten years in terms of a sentence. It's taken very seriously when someone interferes with the judicial process."
Walker says that Levin likely only attempted to tamper with the jury on that one occassion. "There is nothing in the evidence where there was another attempt to contact a juror. If that was the case, we would be investigating that as well."
The wife's bail hearing heard that the attempted transaction was captured on transit video. Court heard the amount of money offered was believed to be between $1,000 and $10,000. There was no publication ban on details of the hearing.
Erica Levin's lawyer, Allan Fay, told reporters outside court on Jan. 25 that he was arranging to have his client examined by a psychiatric expert.
He also said he was not aware of any cash envelope.
"I know there's an allegation there was an envelope, but whether there was cash remains to be seen," he said at the time.
Fay said the trial had hurt his client physically, emotionally and psychologically.
"This is a woman who for the past three years has lived with her husband through hell," Fay said.
"She's been cut off from her friends. She hasn't even attended her place of worship for three years. This is a woman who's basically at the end of her rope."
Chris Archer, the psychiatrist's defence lawyer, also said Erica Levin was gravely ill.
She is scheduled to appear in Calgary Provincial Court on Feb. 14.
With files from CTVNews.ca