Pearson acquitted of 1983 sex charge
IQALUIT Iqaluit businessman Bryan Pearson was acquitted Wednesday of a sexual assault charge.
“It’s been the most devastating six months of my life,” Pearson said after the judgement.
In an Iqaluit courtroom Wednesday morning, territorial court Judge Yves Lagace of Montreal, aquitted Pearson on a single charge of sexual assault.
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, names of sexual assault complainants may not be be published or broadcast.
The complainant, now a 31-year-old man, said the assault took place during dinner at Pearson’s home in June of1983, when he was 15 years old. He said they were alone in the house at the time.
Breaking down into tears, he testified that Pearson invited him to his home, then made unwanted advances towards him.
“I’ve had a difficult life,” he testified. “Something always troubled me from the past… mainly this incident.”
Pearson, now 63, told the court that the incident never took place. He also testified that he’d been on an extensive European tour with his sister in June, 1983, and didn’t arrive back in Iqaluit until late that month.
The complainant said the incident took place sometime between the second and third week of June, 1983.
The plaintiff and Pearson were the only witnesses to appear during the two-hour trial. Lagace took no recess before announcing his verdict.
Lagace said he had no reason to disbelieve the testimony of the complainant.
“As far as your testimony, I have to say the same thing,” he told Pearson.
Because he also said he believed Pearson’s testimony, the judge introduced reasonable doubt, the grounds on which he acquitted Pearson.