In a rare move, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has withdrawn a case from a jury and acquitted a man accused of sexually assaulting a Victoria woman in 2011.
On Tuesday, Justice Brian Mackenzie told the jury that there had been a development in the case against Solomon Akintoye. The 30-year-old has been on trial with co-accused Godstime Obelikpyha since Feb. 18. Both men were arrested and charged with the sexual assault of a 22-year-old Victoria woman on Nov. 1, 2011.
Mackenzie reminded the jury that, after they had listened to a Crown expert testify on Monday about DNA findings on RCMP exhibits, the Crown closed its case against both men.
The judge then told the jury that, in their absence later on Monday, he heard legal arguments from defence lawyer Martin Allen about the evidence against Akintoye.
“At this point, you are the judge of the facts,” Mackenzie said. “I am the judge of the law. The issue I had to deal with yesterday afternoon involved a legal principle.
“Therefore, as a matter of law, I am withdrawing the case against Mr. Akintoye from you and entering a verdict of not guilty.”
Mackenzie told Akintoye he was free to leave the courtroom.
The jury is to return to court today to hear the case by Obelikpyha’s defence.
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