Tes­ti­mony ‘fraught with prob­lems’

3 Toronto of­fi­cers found not guilty of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a fe­male col­league

North Bay Nugget - - NATIONAL NEWS - LIAM CASEY

TORONTO — Three Toronto po­lice of­fi­cers have been found not guilty of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a fe­male col­league on a night of heavy drink­ing af­ter an on­tario judge said the woman’s tes­ti­mony was “fraught with prob­lems.”

Jus­tice anne Mol­loy told a Toronto court Wed­nes­day she “looked in vain for cor­rob­o­ra­tion” of the woman’s ver­sion of events on Jan. 17, 2015, but couldn’t find any ev­i­dence to sup­port her ac­count.

Les­lie Nyznik, Joshua Cabero and sameer Kara had pleaded not guilty to a charge each of sex­ual as­sault. all three hugged sup­port­ers af­ter the ver­dict was handed down. The com­plainant was not in court.

Nyznik, the only ac­cused to tes­tify, said dur­ing the trial that it was the fe­male col­league’s idea to re­turn to a ho­tel room rented out by two of the ac­cused where she in­sti­gated sex with all three men.

The woman — a park­ing en­force­ment of­fi­cer whose iden­tity is pro­tected by a pub­li­ca­tion ban — had tes­ti­fied she had sev­eral drinks dur­ing the course of the night and was un­able to stop the men from hav­ing sex with her.

“I was pow­er­less, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t stop what was hap­pen­ing,” she tes­ti­fied.

The judge said the case came down to the re­li­a­bil­ity and cred­i­bil­ity of the woman, which she found lack­ing. There were many prob­lems with the com­plainant’s ev­i­dence, Mol­loy said, find­ing some as­pects “sim­ply un­true.”

“given frail­ties of ev­i­dence I sim­ply can­not be sure to make a find­ing of crim­i­nal guilt,” she said.

Mol­loy said, how­ever, that she didn’t nec­es­sar­ily be­lieve Nyznik’s tes­ti­mony, which “ap­peared to be scripted or re­hearsed” and rang false at times. But the judge said she could not re­ject it as un­truth­ful.

Nyznik’s lawyer said out­side court that his client looks for­ward to hav­ing his life back and go­ing back to work.

“Mr. Nyznik is very happy to fi­nally have this process be­hind him,” harry Black said. “he took the stand and he faced the al­le­ga­tions and he has an­swered them and he is now vin­di­cated.”

dur­ing trial, court heard Kara had in­vited the com­plainant to join in on a “rookie buy night” where rookie of­fi­cers buy drinks for the veter­ans. The two, who worked out of the same di­vi­sion, had be­come friends, court heard.

Kara and Nyznik booked a room at the Westin har­bour Castle that day and be­gan drink­ing there that af­ter­noon, court heard.

around 6 p.m., the three men went to CC Lounge and Whisky Bar with other of­fi­cers, court heard. shortly be­fore 9 p.m., the fe­male park­ing of­fi­cer ar­rived at the bar. she wasn’t there long be­fore the group moved to the nearby Pravda Vodka Bar.

Court heard Kara was so drunk he had to be helped back to the ho­tel room around 10 p.m.

The woman and Nyznik told court dif­fer­ing ac­counts of what hap­pened af­ter.

The woman tes­ti­fied she walked with one of the ac­cused to the Brass rail, a strip club. she later con­ceded un­der cross ex­am­i­na­tion she took a cab, blam­ing her mem­ory lapses on in­tox­i­ca­tion. a po­lice of­fi­cer, who was with the ac­cused and the woman, later told the court the group hailed a cab to the strip club.

around mid­night, the woman ended up in a ho­tel room with the trio, pe­ri­od­i­cally black­ing out, she told the court. she tes­ti­fied she was at the whim of the three of­fi­cers, all con­sta­bles in a down­town Toronto di­vi­sion, who took turns hav­ing sex with her against her wishes.

she tes­ti­fied that she be­lieved she had been drugged, but she said she didn’t know when, where, how or by whom. The judge didn’t buy her ver­sion of events, com­par­ing it to se­cu­rity video ob­tained from sev­eral bars and a down­town ho­tel.

“her ev­i­dence as to the symp­toms she was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing is in­con­sis­tent with the ob­jec­tive video footage,” Mol­loy said. The judge also said the woman’s tes­ti­mony that she was drugged was not plau­si­ble.

Nyznik, mean­while, said on the stand that the woman didn’t ap­pear in­tox­i­cated dur­ing the night and in­sti­gated sex and oral sex with the of­fi­cers at the ho­tel room.

he said the woman sur­prised them when she en­tered the cab that was to take Nyznik and Cabero back to the ho­tel where Kara was sleep­ing.

CHRIS YOuNg/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Toronto po­lice of­fi­cer Joshua Cabero leaves court Wed­nes­day in Toronto af­ter be­ing ac­quit­ted, along with two fel­low of­fi­cers, on charges of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a fe­male park­ing en­force­ment of­fi­cer.

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