To be sure, it is well settled that a complainant can testify
to her virginity without triggering s. 276. As explained in R. v.
Pittiman,  O.J. No. 2672, 198 C.C.C. (3d) 308 (C.A.), at para.
33, affd  1 S.C.R. 381,  S.C.J. No. 9, 2006 SCC 9,
“[e]vidence of a complainant’s virginity is a question of physical
fact”, not a sexual experience.
 It does not follow, however, that defence challenges to
claims of virginity fall outside of s. 276. Such a challenge by its
nature entails the proposition that the complainant has had sexual experiences. Even a binary question about virginity, such as
“are you telling the truth when you say you were a virgin?”
invites the answer “no”, which is evidence of sexual experience.
Cross-examination that challenges claims about the absence of
sexual experience falls squarely within s. 276.
 The leading decision in the area, R. v. Brothers,  A.J.
No. 523, 169 A.R. 122 (C.A.), does not address this issue. There is
also nothing in Pittiman that says otherwise. Indeed, although
Pittiman can be read as being agnostic on this point, Weiler J.A.
did not disagree with the Crown’s insistence that while the complainant was free to claim virginity, the defence had to comply
with s. 276 to confront that claim. She simply noted that it may
be too late to follow the procedure in s. 276 when the complainant
offers such testimony unexpectedly: Pittiman, at para. 37.
 The application judge therefore erred in her evaluation of
the probative value of R.V.’s proposed cross-examination. She
should have examined the probative value of the proposed line of
questioning itself instead of requiring R.V. to demonstrate, with
a particular evidentiary foundation, that his cross-examination
was apt to succeed in exposing other potential causes of the complainant’s pregnancy.
 Her attempt to find an alternative approach that would
reduce the need for the proposed cross-examination was also wrong
in law. She erred by permitting a cross-examination that required
a successful s. 276 application while at the same time denying his
s. 276 application. Although this error did not prejudice R.V., he
was prejudiced by the application judge’s error in treating pointless
lines of questioning as diminishing the importance of the relevant
cross-examination that R.V. sought.
 Given these legal errors, the application judge’s s. 276
decision is not entitled to deference. In my view, the only reasonable
outcome in this case would be to allow the cross-examination that
R.V. sought to conduct.
 The probative value of the proposed line of questioning
was not only extremely high, it was critical to a fair trial in the
circumstances of this case. While there is no fixed rule, evidence