News / Canada

Yukon judge says former Speaker not guilty of sexual assault and assault

WHITEHORSE — Former Speaker of the Yukon legislative assembly David Laxton has been found not guilty of both sexual assault and assault.

Territorial Court Judge John Faulkner says in a written ruling that he found reasonable doubt to support the charges and questioned the complainant's credibility.

Faulkner says he found the complainant to be an argumentative witness who was reluctant to concede any point she thought might detract from her view.

Laxton admitted during the trial that he hugged and kissed the woman twice on the lips when she met him at a Yukon government building in February 2016, but he denied the incident was sexual.

The woman told the court she was shocked by the physical contact and said it was unwanted and inappropriate.

Outside the court, Laxton thanked his family, lawyers and those who supported him during the ordeal.

Laxton stepped down as Speaker shortly after the allegations were made in May 2016, then left the Yukon Party caucus to sit as an Independent before deciding not to run in the Yukon election last November. (CKRW)

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