Jian Ghomeshi found not guilty on all charges in sexual assault case

Jian Ghomeshi found not guilty on all charges in sexual assault case

Jian Ghomeshi has been found not guilty on four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking to overcome resistance. The Ontario Court of Justice's Judge William Horkins made the ruling after delivering an hour-long recap of the case and court proceedings in which he questioned the reliability of the accusers' memories of their interactions with the former Q host noting that with "historical complaints" sometimes "memories fade." He added that with no DNA evidence or "smoking gun" the case rest solely on the complainants' testimony which resulted in reasonable doubt.

Click here for a full timeline of the case.

Jian arrives at court on Mar. 24. Photo: © Chris Young/CP

Jian was arrested in November 2014 after he was publicly let go from the CBC. The 48-year-old always maintained his innocence.

In his closing remarks, Judge Horkins stated the following:

"My conclusion that the evidence in this case raises a reasonable doubt is not the same as deciding in any positive way that these events never happened. At the end of this trial, a reasonable doubt exists because it is impossible to determine, with any acceptable degree of certainty or comfort, what is true and what is false. The standard of proof in a criminal case requires sufficient clarity in the evidence to allow a confident acceptance of the essential facts. In these proceedings the bedrock foundation of the Crown’s case is tainted and incapable of supporting any clear determination of the truth.
I have no hesitation in concluding that the quality of the evidence in this case is incapable of displacing the presumption of innocence. The evidence fails to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
I find Mr. Ghomeshi not guilty on all of these charges and they will be noted as dismissed."

The ruling comes three weeks after an eight-day trial highlighted the accounts of three women who accused the former CBC personality of sexual assault. One of the accusers, actress Lucy DeCoutere, faced intense cross examination by defence lawyer Marie Henein who used email correspondence to try to discredit her claims that Jian slapped and choked her without her consent in the summer of 2003. Following her testimony, the Trailer Park Boys star released a statement via her lawyer that reminded victims of abuse to know that “what they do in the aftermath when they are harmed in no way changes the truth.”

Lucy DeCoutere. Photo: © Getty Images

Visit Chatelaine.comfor more information about the Jian Ghomeshi trial.

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