North

N.W.T. man who failed to show up to trial acquitted of sexual assault

Alden Joseph Lennie, who triggered a mistrial after failing to show up to his own trial date earlier this year, was acquitted of sexual assault charges Friday.

Alden Joseph Lennie aquitted in N.W.T. Supreme Court on Friday

Alden Joseph Lennie failed to appear in court twice in January, triggering a mistrial. Lennie was acquitted of a sexual assault charge on Friday. (Chantal Dubuc/CBC)

A man who triggered a mistrial after failing to show up to his own trial has been acquitted of sexual assault.

Alden Joseph Lennie was acquitted of a sexual assault charge on Friday by N.W.T. Supreme Court Justice Karan Shaner in Yellowknife, following a two-day trial by judge alone on July 29 and 30.

On Jan. 22, a warrant was issued for Lennie's arrest after he missed his court appearance. When he didn't appear again the following day, it prompted the judge to dismiss the jury and declare a mistrial. Lennie turned himself in to police custody Feb. 8, and was sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to failing to attend court.

A second trial date set for May 9 was also adjourned, this time at the request of the Crown because witnesses were not available, according to Crown prosecutor Blair MacPherson. Both Crown and defence lawyers agreed to Lennie's release at that time.

While Lennie was acquitted on the sexual assault charge, he is currently back in custody for breaching his court-mandated curfew, and is expected to appear in territorial court soon.