Ben Johnson found guilty of sexual assault
Former Windsor Spitfire Ben Johnson has been found guilty of sexual assault.
WARNING: This story contains details some readers may find offensive.
Justice Kirk Munroe delivered the decision on Thursday afternoon in the Superiour Court of Justice in Windsor.
The victim and her family were crying and the 22-year old Johnson was hanging his head and sobbing as the decision was handed down.
In court, Munroe took more than two hours to read his decision and went through the events from the day of the incident at the former Mynt Nightclub on March 17, 2013,
At one point, it appeared Johnson and his famly misunderstood what the judge was saying, as they appeared to be relieved when the judge talked about Johnson being not guilty.
But as it turns out, Justice Munroe was simply explaining he needed reasonable doubt to acquit Johnson.
Justice Munroe was very clear in his ruling. He says he had no doubt that in fact an assault did occur.
The victim, who was 16 at the time, cannot be identified because of a publication ban. She alleged Johnson forced her to perform oral sex, and then sexually assaulted her.
Johnson testified it was the girl who pulled him into a bathroom stall, and it was her decision to perform oral sex. Johnson claims to have never had sex with her.
Justice Munroe rejected Johnson’s testimony, saying “it was a huge mystery to me.”
The victim admitted she had been drinking on the night of the assault, and her friends testified she was falling down drunk and so intoxicated, her eyes were rolling into the back of her head.
The judge ruled the underage girl could not have consented to the sex act, because her memory of the night is “spotty” and “marginally reliable.”
Justice Munroe was also critical of Johnson’s version of events, saying “the accused has two eyes and was perfectly sober. The complainant was dead drunk. He knew she was not fine.”
The trial lasted 10 days, hearing from 21 total witnesses and 52 exhibits.
Crown Attorney Scott Kerwin asked that Johnson be taken into custody, pending sentencing.
Johnson was released from custody for the night, and will appear in court Friday at 10 a.m. for a bail hearing.
No sentencing date has been announced.
CTV’s Michelle Maluske has details from the courtroom: