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3 Toronto cops found not guilty of sexually assaulting a colleague

LIAM CASEY, THE CANADIAN PRESS & NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Aug 10th, 2017

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Three police officers charged with sexual assault of a parking enforcement officer: Leslie Nyznik, Sameer Kara and Joshua Cabero.
Three Toronto police officers have been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a female colleague with whom they had been partying and drinking after an Ontario judge found there were inconsistencies in the woman’s account of that night.

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.

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.”

Professional Standards has also completed it’s investigation and concluded there is no evidence to charge the three officers under the Police Services Act.

The Toronto police chief will now review their suspensions. If the Crown does not appeal the judges decision, they could soon return to work, having been cleared of all charges both internally and by the court. The Crown has 30 days to appeal.

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.

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.

CityNews reporter Faiza Amin chats with Flora Vineberg, a lawyer at Jellinek Law Office, about the options sexual assault complainants have, and the difference between criminal and civil cases. Watch the video below or click here.

 

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