Barry Klentz, a 64-year-old man from Northern Ontario, has been ordered to attend counselling to improve his understanding of the LGBTQ+ community, after exhibiting homophobic behaviour during a road rage incident. Additionally, Klentz will attend anger management courses, following a threat to cause death. He was charged with assault and threatening to cause death after he repeatedly stopped his vehicle to prevent a truck driven by a person who identifies as a woman from passing. Klentz then punched the victim in the face through the driver’s side window of the truck before leaving the scene.
Klentz pleaded guilty to both charges, and received a two-year suspended sentence and probation order, which included unique conditions such as a no-weapons order and a DNA order. However, the most notable aspect of the order is the requirement of LGBTQ+ counselling. Judge Jenny Restoule-Mallozzi added the condition to the probation order given Klentz’s anger issues and the aggravating factor of exhibiting homophobic behaviour.
“Clearly, he has anger issues, and there are issues with the LBGTQ+ community,” said Restoule-Mallozzi.
Klentz’s defense lawyer, William Beach, claimed that his client’s behaviour in the two incidents was out of character, and that he regretted his involvement. Beach also noted that Klentz had no prior criminal record and had lived in the small community of St. Charles for his entire life. While the judge acknowledged this fact, she also noted that Klentz had two charges in a short period of time involving the same individuals who are neighbours.
The probation order, which includes no-weapons and DNA orders, will help Klentz to better understand and manage his behaviour. Judges rarely include specific counselling requirements in probation orders. This case highlights the need for greater understanding and education around the LGBTQ+ community, as incidents such as Klentz’s are not uncommon. It is essential to promote education, training, and support to create a more inclusive and accepting society for all.