PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – An Ontario police officer has been found not guilty of sexual assault after a trial which heard graphic testimony from a woman who claimed he raped her.
Const. Christopher Robertson had pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the woman during an alleged incident that took place in Peterborough, Ont., January 2015, while he was off-duty. The charge was laid after an investigation by Ontario’s police watchdog.
The woman at the centre of the case, who cannot be identified, testified that Robertson pinned her down on his bed during sexual intercourse and wouldn’t stop when she begged him to.
Robertson, however, testified he only had consensual sex with the woman and didn’t sexually assault anyone.
The judge who heard the trial said he was faced with two different versions of what occurred and it was impossible for him to determine where the actual truth lay.
Justice Stuart Konyer says Robertson is entitled to the benefit of the reasonable doubt that was raised in the case and was therefore found not guilty.
“Although it is certainly possible, perhaps even probable, that Mr. Robertson continued to engage in sexual activity with (the woman) after she withdrew her consent, and that he did so in a violent manner she described, leaving her with injuries seen, I cannot be sure this is so,” Konyer said.
“Mr. Robertson, like any accused person, is entitled to the benefit of that doubt.”
The woman testified that she met Robertson at a local nightclub during a girls’ night out on a Friday night. She recalled having eight to nine rye-and-Cokes over the course of that night, and said she couldn’t remember much about what happened.
Two days later, the woman went to a hospital to get checked for STDs, but refused a forensic examination because, at the time, she didn’t want to pursue charges because Robertson was a police officer, court heard.
A nurse who examined her found abrasions on the woman’s knees, bruises on her upper back, a red scratch below her neck, tenderness over her kidney areas and a small red abrasion deep inside her vagina.
The woman said she decided to file a complaint weeks later because what happened was eating away at her.