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A Yellowknife man accused of cupping his hand against a woman’s rear end was found not guilty of sexual assault in Territorial Court on Friday.

Judge Christine Gagnon told the court that she was not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offence. 

In the alleged incident, the complainant said she had been bent over while moving furniture in a workplace when she felt a hand on her behind. She claimed that the accused then said, “You can’t just put this in my face” – although details about what exactly she heard him say differed in her initial incident report and in her account at trial.

Surveillance video was submitted as evidence. However, the footage was grainy and Gagnon said it was impossible to see if his if lips were moving, which caused the judge doubts as to whether the accused did, in fact, say those words.  

Although the complainant said she felt her behind being touched while bent over, the video shows that she was upright when the accused was leaning forward with his arm outstretched. 

A publication ban prevents NNSL from disclosing details that could identify the victim, including the name of the accused. 

The accused remains in custody on other charges. He was denied bail on Friday.

A publication ban again prohibits NNSL from releasing information about the bail hearing until the matter goes before the NWT Supreme Court. 

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Natalie Pressman

Natalie is a graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program. She has since held contracts working with an NGO in Vietnam, freelancing, and working with Journalists for Human Rights in Iskatewizaagegan...

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