Three Toronto cops found not guilty of sexual assault
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.