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Professor acquitted of sexual assault

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Being charged with a sexual assault is never desirable as a conviction generally brings serious penalties. That said those who face such an accusation should recognize that a charge will not automatically result in a conviction. During the course of a trial he or she has a chance to create a defence to the charges. A solid defence could result in the accused being acquitted of the charge.

An architecture professor at the University of Toronto recently experienced this. The man was accused of following an acquaintance home, taking her clothing off and groping and climbing on top of her while the woman asked him to stop. In response to the accusations the man claimed that the activity between the two was consensual. He also said that when she asked him to stop, he did.

The judge who heard the case indicated that reasonable doubt arose based on three flaws in the accusers testimony as compared to what she told police.

In the first instance the woman said she was tired at the time of the alleged incident as opposed to telling the police that she was drunk. Next, though she initially indicated that she did not know how he got into her apartment, at the trial she said that she had left the building door open a bit so that her boyfriend could get in. Last, she claimed at trial that she did not look at an account of the incident that her friend wrote down and provided the police. That account had points that were not consistent with her testimony.

While the man is likely pleased with the outcome of the trial he is facing another sexual assault case that involved a different woman and there is no question that his life has been impacted by the process. By “mutual agreement” he stopped working at the university after the charge was made public. It is unclear what he is doing now.

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