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Man acquitted of sex assault, complainant’s credibility raises reasonable doubt

A man has been acquitted of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter after Toronto criminal lawyer Ryan Handlarski argued her testimony did not meet the test of common sense.

Handlarski’s 50-year-old client, who is not being named because it might identify the complainant, was charged with one count of sexually assaulting her, allegedly in 1998 or 1999, when she was between 15 and 16 years old.

The stepdaughter, now 33, claimed that he sexually assaulted her for several years in their northwest Toronto home starting when she was 10 or 11, Ontario Superior Court Justice Julie Thorburn wrote in her judgment.

She first reported the alleged sex assaults to police in 1998, but said she recanted the next day under pressure from her mother, Thorburn wrote.

The stepdaughter said that after years of therapy she went back to police in 2014 because she knew what her stepfather did to her was wrong.

She alleged the defendant abused her in other ways. She claimed he beat her, called her demeaning names, deprived her of food, followed her to school, stopped her from going out or having friends visit, taped her telephone calls, and left condoms hidden throughout the home, Thorburn wrote.

“It was a very challenging case,” says Handlarski, principal of RH Criminal Defence. “The greatest challenge was that the complainant appeared to have a coherent story. The complainant also presented as a normal person with a sincere demeanour.”


Handlarski’s client acquitted of six counts of sexual offences

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