A youth has been acquitted of six sex charges and given an absolute discharge for other offences after Toronto criminal lawyer Ryan Handlarski argued that the evidence against him was tainted by high school rumours.

Throughout the five-day trial in Burlington, Ont., Handlarski maintained the evidence of the four girls who alleged his client sexually assaulted them was influenced by gossip that he misbehaved with females.

“When you put a person who’s accused of sexual assault in the context of a high school, the version of events can be tainted by the rumours,” Handlarski tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“That was ultimately one of the main reasons why my client was acquitted of most of the counts.”

The youth, who can only be identified as T.J.A. under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was acquitted of three counts of sexual assault and three of sexual interference related to touching three girls.

Read more on Advocate Daily.