Man found not guilty in Twit­ter ha­rass­ment trial

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

TORONTO — A man charged with crim­i­nal ha­rass­ment over his deal­ings with two Toronto women’s rights ac­tivists on Twit­ter has been found not guilty. Gre­gory Alan El­liott was ac­cused of crim­i­nally ha­rass­ing Stephanie Guthrie and Heather Reilly over sev­eral months in 2012. There were rum­blings in the court­room as the On­tario Court Judge Brent Knazan read his de­ci­sion. Sup­port­ers for both sides filled the benches, some even sit­ting on the floor. In his tweets, El­liott was largely ex­plain­ing him­self and fur­ther­ing his views “how­ever of­fen­sive or wrong they may be,” the judge said, while rec­og­niz­ing the lan­guage could be “vul­gar and some­times ob­scene.” The two ac­tivists tes­ti­fied at the trial that they be­lieve El­liot kept tabs on them and their where­abouts through so­cial me­dia, even af­ter they blocked his ac­count. El­liott’s lawyer Chris Mur­phy in­stead char­ac­ter­ized the Twit­ter in­ter­ac­tions - which es­ca­lated and saw both sides trade barbs - as “an ugly political de­bate.” Mur­phy said his client never threat­ened or made sex­ual com­ments at the women.

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