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Alexander Wagar not guilty in Alberta ‘knees together’ retrial

Click to play video: 'Lawyer says Alexander Wagar is real victim in ‘knees together’ trial' Lawyer says Alexander Wagar is real victim in ‘knees together’ trial
WATCH ABOVE: Alexander Wagar's lawyer, Patrick Flynn says he is the real victim in a sexual assault case that involved inappropriate comments by Justice Robin Camp – Jan 31, 2017

A man retried on a sexual assault charge as a result of controversial comments by the original trial judge shouted “Yeah!” as he left the courtroom Tuesday after being found not guilty a second time.

WATCH: A judge handed down a not guilty verdict for a man in a sex assault retrial that was ordered after the original judge asked the complainant why she didn’t keep her knees together.
Click to play video: 'Alexander Wagar not guilty in Alberta ‘knees together’ retrial' Alexander Wagar not guilty in Alberta ‘knees together’ retrial
Alexander Wagar not guilty in Alberta ‘knees together’ retrial – Jan 31, 2017

Alexander Wagar, 29, smiled as the verdict was delivered by Judge Gerry LeGrandeur, who said he was left with reasonable doubt that a sexual assault had occurred.

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Watch below from Jan. 6: Justice Robin Camp is pleading his case after a panel recommended he lose his job for making controversial comments during a sex assault trial. Survivor advocates say Camp’s excuse is not good enough. Kim Smith explains.

Click to play video: 'Alberta judge pleads case following ‘knees together’ comment' Alberta judge pleads case following ‘knees together’ comment
Alberta judge pleads case following ‘knees together’ comment – Jan 7, 2017

The Calgary provincial court judge said neither the accused nor the complainant delivered completely reliable testimonies, but he found Wagar’s version more candid.

“The inconsistencies and evasiveness … in my view challenge the reliability and trustworthiness of her testimony generally,” the judge said.

“I do not consider his testimony, in particular what happened immediately preceding this incident or during the course of the incident, to be incredible or implausible.”

READ MORE: Alberta Justice Robin Camp in ‘knees together’ case admits ‘non-existent’ knowledge of criminal law

Wager was acquitted in 2014 by Judge Robin Camp, who ruled Wagar was a more credible witness than the 19-year-old woman who made the allegation. Camp called the woman “the accused” throughout that trial and asked her why she couldn’t keep her knees together.

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The Alberta Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal and ordered a new trial.

Camp is now a Federal Court judge and waiting to see if the Canadian Judicial Council will recommend he be removed from the bench. A disciplinary panel of the council has already recommended Camp lose his job.

Watch below: Lawyer Joseph Neuberger weighs in on a report recommending Justice Robin Camp be removed from the bench for his infamous comment

Click to play video: 'Panel recommends Justice Robin Camp be removed for his ‘knees together’ comment' Panel recommends Justice Robin Camp be removed for his ‘knees together’ comment
Panel recommends Justice Robin Camp be removed for his ‘knees together’ comment – Dec 1, 2016

LeGrandeur noted the earlier case drew a lot of interest from the community.

“There has been deserved sympathy engendered for the complainant … as a consequence of what was said and the fact that she had been required to publicly describe these difficult events a second time,” he said.

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“The trial judge–and consequently the court and the administration of justice–have been criticized by some segments of society and many have asserted that the complainant has suffered an injustice by the manner in which the court process unfolded. I take no issue with any of those concerns.”

READ MORE: Alberta Justice Robin Camp apologizes at hearing over ‘knees together’ comment 

But LeGrandeur said sympathy for the woman did not change the legal requirement that guilt be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The complainant, now a woman in her 20s, was not informed that the verdict was coming two hours earlier than scheduled. She arrived at the courtroom after it had concluded. She was too distraught to speak to reporters.

Crown prosecutor Janice Walsh said she was concerned about the verdict.

“We will definitely take it under advisement to see whether this is a matter we should take to appeal again,” said Walsh.

“Some of the judge’s comments certainly give pause for future cases of sexual assault.”

Watch below: Crown Prosecutor Janice Walsh reacts to a not guilty verdict in a sexual assault retrial that involved Justice Robin Camp’s comments
Click to play video: 'Crown on not guilty verdict in ‘knees together’ retrial' Crown on not guilty verdict in ‘knees together’ retrial
Crown on not guilty verdict in ‘knees together’ retrial – Jan 31, 2017

Walsh expressed concern the result will deter other victims from coming forward.

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“This type of decision will have a cooling effect on other complainants coming forward. We have an unfortunate statistic in Canada that most complainants do not come forward.”

Wagar’s lawyer said his client is “the true victim.”

“I can advise you he’s been in custody now for over two years, twice waiting for trial on this matter. His mother passed away last month and he was unable to see her,” said Pat Flynn.

Watch below: Alexander Wagar’s lawyer says public opinion has “taken the complainant’s point of view” and Wagar has suffered for it
Click to play video: 'Lawyer says Alexander Wagar has suffered from public’s opinion' Lawyer says Alexander Wagar has suffered from public’s opinion
Lawyer says Alexander Wagar has suffered from public’s opinion – Jan 31, 2017

Flynn said Wagar is an innocent man.

“Society as a whole is ganging up on him. Gold-plated individuals have used this to advance their own agenda,” he said.

“The media, the Internet, public forums, everyone in effect has taken the complainant’s point of view, ignored Mr. Wagar, and Mr. Wagar has suffered dramatically because of it.”

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Flynn also defended Camp whom he described as a “good judge.”

“It was unfortunate the comments he made. I don’t want to be flippant on this, but would you rather have your judge make the right decision and say something inappropriate or to be politically correct and get the wrong decision?”

READ MORE: A look at the legal career and trial that led to judge Robin Camp controversy

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