TORONTO — Three Toronto police officers have been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a female colleague after a night of partying and drinking.
Leslie Nyznik, Joshua Cabero and Sameer Kara had pleaded not guilty in connection with the alleged incident on Jan. 17, 2015.
Nyznik, the only accused to testify, told court 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 felt powerless and unable to move or speak when the three men had sex with her against her wishes.
Justice Anne Molloy, who presided over the case, said the case came down to the reliability and credibility of complainant.
She said there were many problems with the complainant's evidence and found some aspects simply untrue.
"Given frailties of evidence I simply cannot be sure to make a finding of criminal guilt," she said.
The three men smiled and hugged supporters as they left the courtroom Wednesday.
Complainant invited out for drinks
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 had a few drinks there in the 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 a nearby bar, Pravda Vodka Bar.
Court heard Kara was so drunk he had to be helped back to the hotel room around 10 p.m.
The woman and Nyznik told court differing accounts of what happened after.
The woman testified she walked with one of the accused to the Brass Rail, a strip club. She later conceded under cross examination she took a cab, blaming her memory lapses on intoxication. A police officer, who was with the accused and the woman, later told the court the group hailed a cab to the strip club.
Around midnight, the woman said she ended up in a hotel room with the trio, periodically blacking out. She said she was at the whim of the three officers, all constables in a downtown Toronto division, who took turns having sex with her against her wishes.
Officer said woman didn't seem intoxicated
She testified that she believed she had been drugged, but she said she didn't know when, where, how or by whom.
Nyznik, meanwhile, said on the stand that the woman didn't appear intoxicated during the night and instigated sex and oral sex with all three officers at the hotel room.
He said the woman surprised them when she entered the cab that was to take Nyznik and Cabero back to the hotel where Kara was sleeping.