Calgary

Calgary foster father breaks down after being found not guilty of sexually assaulting girl in his care

In the moments after the judge acquitted him, a former Calgary foster father who was accused of sexually assaulting a young girl in his care began sobbing uncontrollably.

Fortunanto Jinon and his wife have fostered about 25 kids over the years

A Calgary foster father has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a girl in his care. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

In the moments after the judge acquitted him on Tuesday, a former Calgary foster father who was accused of sexually assaulting a young girl in his care began sobbing uncontrollably.

In the prisoner's box, Fortunanto Jinon collapsed into a chair with his face buried in his hands after hearing the words "not guilty." His wife cried from her seat in the gallery of the courtroom.

The Jinons fostered about 25 kids over the years. 

In February 2015, a child in elementary school disclosed to a teacher that she had been touched sexually by her male caregiver several times. 

In June 2015, Jinon was charged with assault, sexual assault and sexual interference. 

Police came to believe another child, a boy, had been assaulted, locked in a dark room and forced to stand outside in winter weather without proper clothing. But prosecutor Jennifer Crews withdrew a charge of assault before the trial began.

Although she found the girl's testimony to be genuine, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Suzanne Bensler took only a couple of minutes to deliver her decision.

Bensler said she had a reasonable doubt and therefore must acquit.

Defence lawyer Susan Karpa ushered the crying couple into a side room where they composed themselves following the judge's decision.

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.