Ronald Teneycke walked out of the Penticton Court House a free man on Friday, after a judge found him not guilty of sexually assaulting a Penticton woman on July 31, 2011.
Justice James Williams said that although both the testimony of the accused and the complainant lacked credibility, the woman's testimony was more unreliable because of her level of intoxication that day. Ultimately he was left with reasonable doubt, resolving the case in the defendant's favour, he said.
"It cannot be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt," he said. "Simply the conclusion is the standard of proof is not met."
Teneycke, 50, was found not guilty of sexual assault with a dildo, sexual assault with a weapon (knife) assault causing bodily harm, unlawful confinement and breach of probation.
The woman, he said, was in a bad state at the time, a recovering alcoholic who was drinking, using cocaine and under the influence of an antidepressant.
When the woman who was hitchhiking from Penticton to Keremeos on July 31, 2011, got into Teneycke's car, she had already consumed three to four beers at home and had a number of beers in her purse. After purchasing a half gram of cocaine in Keremeos, she claimed she shared it with the defendant, but the judge said he believed she did it all.
She also took a bad fall over a barricade, ending up in a shopping cart corral at the bank the pair stopped at in Keremeos .
As a result of the intoxication, her ability to recall the events is highly problematic and she repeatedly said she was unable to remember what happened, the judge said.
Also because of her strong desire to get to Keremeos that day and party, she acted in a decidedly flirtatious manner toward Teneycke, the judge concluded.
In the matter of the homemade dildo, said to be used in the sexual assault at an old pump house near Okanagan Falls, the judge said she knew certain details of the device in an early interview, in contrast to her testimony during the trial, when she said it was too dark to see.
The judge accepted some portion of what Teneycke said in his testimony as being truthful, such as his description of events in Keremeos. But in regards to the central event at the pump house, he said he was less inclined to attach credence to his testimony.
"His explanation verged on nonsense, said Williams. "I have a suspicion it was tailored to match what was said in court."
Evidence provided by the doctor who performed the sexual assault examination was consistent with rough sex but not enough to prove the act was non-consensual, he said. Also DNA evidence did not prove the sex was non-consensual.
Still the judge stated he strongly suspected the sex act was non-consensual but there was not enough evidence to justify a conviction.
As Teneycke left the court house Friday he said he he felt sorry for the woman because she is a crackhead. He blamed the media for getting him into the situation he was in and asked if reporters would keep the attention on him low key.
"The judge said not guilty and I spent 15 months in jail for something I didn't do," he said. "I ask the media to leave me and my family alone."
He said he was unsure of where he would be living and that he hoped to get back into teaching native culture.
His aunt Terry Berg said outside the court house that she was happy with the outcome. It is her understanding her nephew will return to his mother's home in Okanagan Falls where he lived prior to the arrest.
"I suppose he now has a chance to build a better life," she said.