Calgary

'Probably' guilty not good enough for conviction so judge acquits man of bestiality, sex assault

Sheriffs had to be called to a Calgary courtroom after a heated situation resulted following the acquittal of a southern Alberta man who was accused of raping his stepson and having sex with animals, including a dead gopher and a calf.

Warning: This story contains information and language some readers may find disturbing

A southern Alberta man was acquitted on Monday of sexual assault and bestiality charges following a trial. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

WARNING: Content of this story may offend some readers. The story deals with bestiality.​

Sheriffs had to be called to a Calgary courtroom after a heated situation resulted following the acquittal of a southern Alberta man who was accused of raping his stepson and having sex with animals, including a dead gopher and a bull.

The decision follows a trial that began last month and stemmed from allegations that were about seven years old.

At the time of the alleged offences, the stepson was a teenager living with his mother and stepfather in Carsland. The boy didn't come forward until years later, when he confided in his father, who encouraged him to go to police.

"What he says happened probably did happen," said provincial court Judge Gord Wong in his decision Monday.

But probably is not good enough in Canadian courts and Wong said he had reasonable doubt due to inconsistencies in the complainant's testimony as well as evidence that did not come out "cleanly."

The decision drew outrage from the now-21-year-old's family who stormed out of the courtroom upon learning the former stepfather would walk free.

"What a joke," yelled one relative. "You're a piece of shit," a woman shouted.

Defence lawyer Andrea Urquhart held her client back in the courtroom to give space to the angry family members. 

'A ring of truth' 

Despite acquitting the stepfather, Wong said he found the teen's evidence "compelling."

"The allegations are so specific and unusual, there is a ring of truth to them."

The stepson and another witness both testified that the accused cut open a dead gopher, placed his penis inside, used the dead animal to masturbate, and encouraged them to do the same. 

Two other animal-related incidents involved a sexual encounter between the stepfather and a bull, and one time when he encouraged his stepson to put his penis in a calf's mouth, according to the complainant's testimony.

Stepson testified he was raped

The stepson also detailed incidents where his stepfather would sexually abuse him. In one circumstance, the witness said the two were in a truck and the stepfather insisted on playing a truth or dare game where the dares would ramp up from touching, to oral sex, to anal sex and he was told he had to make it through all the stages.

The young man said he felt too embarrassed to tell his mother about the abuse but he eventually moved to B.C. to live with his father, who he confided in. 

The stepfather testified in his own defence and denied all of the allegations. 

"I can not say I believe the accused in everything he has testified to," said Wong.