Verdict in sexual assault trial of former Yukon Speaker expected in October
Former Speaker David Laxton and the complainant have opposite views on an encounter in 2016
Lawyers' arguments have wrapped up in the two-day sexual assault trial of David Laxton, former Speaker of the Yukon legislature.
Laxton resigned as Speaker on May 10, 2016, leaving the governing Yukon Party caucus to sit as an independent. Nine days later, he issued a statement on Facebook explaining that he'd left due to an allegation of sexual harassment.
He pleaded not guilty to one charge of sexual assault in Yukon Territorial Court in January. The case has now been adjourned until Oct. 2 when Judge John Faulkner will give his verdict.
In court this week, the complainant testified she went to see Laxton in the Speaker's office about a possible job in February 2016.
According to the complainant, when she decided to leave, Laxton walked over to her and gave her a bear hug and kissed her. She said he did it again before she was able to leave the legislature building.
Laxton told the court he had ran into the complainant often over the past 10 years and had flirted on occasion, but that's as far as it went.
He confirmed kissing and hugging her in his office and then in the lobby of the legislature building, but said it was innocent and he was trying to comfort her.
Two of Laxton's friends testified he likes to give hugs, with one adding he usually kisses her as a greeting when they meet.
Crown prosecutor Amy Porteous told the court that even if the judge accepts the two had flirted in the past, the kisses still constituted a sexual assault.
She called efforts by defence lawyer André Roothman to undermine the woman's credibility a sideshow.
Roothman, however, said Laxton should be acquitted.
With files from Mike Rudyk