Sexual assault charges stayed against Calgary chef Michael Noble
Noble was accused of sexually assaulting female employee at staff party in January 2018
Calgary chef Michael Noble no longer faces a sexual assault trial, after the Crown prosecutor's office stayed the charge against him.
"Mr. Noble has been confident since entering a not-guilty plea on his first court appearance that the court would properly dispose of the accusation against him," reads a statement released by Noble's lawyer, Jennifer Ruttan.
"The Crown decision to stay the prosecution supports his confidence in the criminal justice system."
According to Alberta Justice, the case was reviewed by both a senior prosecutor and the chief Crown prosecutor, who determined Noble was unlikely to be found guilty.
"There is a difference between the police standard for laying a charge and the Crown standard for prosecuting a case, meaning that sometimes the Crown will not proceed with charges laid by the police," read an emailed statement.
"This is part of the criminal justice system's checks and balances."
Noble was accused of assaulting a 21-year-old woman after following her into a bathroom at a social gathering that took place at a lounge in the 200 block of Eighth Avenue S.W. in January 2018.
In a civil document filed by the complainant, she claimed he cornered her in a stall and sexually assaulted her.
Noble pleaded not guilty last May. At that time, his lawyer said her client "denies the allegations and will continue to rigorously defend his innocence."
An 'incredibly difficult' ordeal
The trial was to take place in March.
When a charge is stayed, the prosecution has one year to reopen the case but that almost never happens.
Ruttan says her client is asking for privacy as he tries to put "this incredibly difficult and public ordeal behind him."
Noble is the owner of award-winning restaurants The Nash in Inglewood and Notable in Montgomery.
- An earlier version of this story included a quote from Alberta Justice saying the charges were stayed as "circumstances have significantly changed," however Alberta Justice issued a clarification saying that statement pertained to a different case. The updated statement says "there is a difference between the police standard for laying a charge and the Crown standard for prosecuting a case."Feb 16, 2019 9:19 AM MT