A Cornwall man accused of sexually assaulting a teenaged family member almost 20 years ago was acquitted of charges of sexual assault and sexual interference on Friday.

Justice Laurie Lacelle handed down the verdict on Friday morning after a three-day trial that hinged completely on the testimony of the alleged victim of the case, who claimed the accused performed oral sex on him against his will when he was 15.

In her decision, Lacelle said there had been too many legitimate concerns about the reliability of the complainant’s evidence that were impossible to ignore. While in contrast, the testimony of the defendant had no such inconstancies or evidence of ulterior motives. Because of this, the judge said there was reasonable doubt for a conviction.

“The accused’s evidence raised a reasonable doubt in my mind on whether the incident occurred,” she said. “A criminal trial is a blunt instrument. We can only weigh the properly admissible evidence to determine what happened in a case when there are conflicting accounts of what went on.

“This is what happened in this case.”

Read the full article: Standard Freeholder

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