A Thunder Bay artist and former teacher has been found not guilty of sexual assault.
Luc Paul Despres was charged almost two years ago after a complaint from one of his models.
In a Thunder Bay court Wednesday Justice Frank Valente emphasized that his verdict was not a reflection on the credibility of the alleged victim — but he wasn't satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Despres was guilty.
The case boiled down to what happened in five or six seconds in May 2011.
That day, the 23-year-old complainant agreed to help Despres test a special effect he was working on for film students.
It involved him holding her from behind and pretending to be a vampire.
She said while his hand was around her midsection, he reached down and touched her inappropriately.
Despres testified he didn't — and if his hand had slipped, it would have been purely by accident.
His lawyer, David Bruzzese, said Despres is relieved he's been acquitted.
"We were hopeful this would be the result and pretty much what we could expect in a judgment like this where these are very difficult cases," he said.
But Bruzzese added that going through the legal process has been hard on his client.
"It's had a huge toll," Bruzzese said. "He's lost his professional career as a teacher. I don't know whether he'll be able to reclaim that."
The Crown said it will not appeal.