3 Toronto officers found not guilty of sexually assaulting a colleague
TORONTO — Three Toronto police officers have been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a female colleague on a night of heavy drinking.
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 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.
The woman 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. The judge also said the woman’s testimony that she was drugged was not plausible.
Nyznik said on the stand that the woman didn’t appear intoxicated during the night and instigated sex and oral sex with the officers.
Police officers (from left) Joshua Cabero, Leslie Nyznik and Sameer Kara.