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Kelowna Mountie found not guilty of sexual assault

Click to play video: 'Vance Trial Feb. 18, 2021' Vance Trial Feb. 18, 2021
In a surprise turn of events on Thursday, the Crown asked the judge to acquit a Kelowna RCMP officer accused of sexual assault. Jules Knox reports. – Feb 18, 2021

Warning: This story contains details that may disturb some readers. Discretion is advised. 

In a surprise turn of events during court on Thursday, the Crown prosecutor asked the judge to acquit a Kelowna Mountie accused of sexual assault, and the judge agreed.

RCMP officer Chad Vance had been accused of trying to rape a woman in the summer of 2015.

The case largely revolved around his word versus hers.

Read more: Kelowna Mountie denies rape allegation

The woman took the stand and alleged that Vance pinned her down and tried to sodomize her.

He then took the stand and denied it.

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Court heard the pair had dated for approximately six months.

Read more: ‘I sobbed all the way home’: Alleged victim takes stand in Kelowna Mountie’s sexual assault trial

The woman did not step forward with her story until roughly three and a half years after the incident was alleged to have happened.

During trial, she relied on her memory for what happened when, while he was largely able to refer to his credit card receipts.

The judge said that there’s some support for Vance’s evidence that the woman, who lived out of town, was not in Kelowna at the time the offence was alleged to have occurred.

Read more: B.C. RCMP officer charged with sexual assault, suspended with pay

Justice Roy Dickey also noted that the burden was on the Crown to prove the allegation beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Although I do not agree with all the submissions of the defence, I am satisfied that the Crown has failed to meet the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” Dickey said.

The judge found Vance not guilty of one count of sexual assault.

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Read more: Civil lawsuits pile up against former Kelowna Mountie

He had no comment after court.

Vance remains suspended from the RCMP without pay and is still facing an internal code of conduct hearing in April.

There are seven allegations against him that he may have behaved in a manner that could discredit the police force.

Click to play video: 'Alleged victim takes the stand in Kelowna Mountie’s sexual assault trial' Alleged victim takes the stand in Kelowna Mountie’s sexual assault trial
Alleged victim takes the stand in Kelowna Mountie’s sexual assault trial – Feb 16, 2021
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