Noel Avadluk

Noel Avadluk has been convicted of sexually assaulting a Yellowknife woman, but not guilty of attempting to suffocate her. (CBC)

A Yellowknife jury has found a Kugluktuk, Nunavut, man guilty of a vicious sexual assault, but did not convict 41-year-old Noel Avadluk of attempting to suffocate the woman he attacked.

Avadluk showed no reaction to the verdict. He simply stared at the jury through the dark sunglasses he's been wearing the whole trial because of a sensitivity to the courtroom lights.

Avadluk defended himself during the trial.

The victim's testimony was emotional.The 56-year-old woman said Avadluk had come to her apartment with a friend of hers, then attacked her right after the friend left. She said she blacked out several times as he raped her because he had his hand over her mouth and nose.

The jury heard about Avadluk's lengthy criminal record, but was not told about a sexual assault conviction five years ago.

Prosecutor Wendy Miller said it could have unfairly affected the verdict.

"If the jury saw that he was already convicted of a sexual assault they might think it's more likely that he would have done this one, and that's not the proper use of a criminal record, " Miller said.

No date has been set for Avadluk's sentencing. He will be back in court on Sept. 8th to decide when that will happen.