Mistrial declared in sex assault case of former Calgary corrections officer

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Mistrial declared in sex assault case of former Calgary corrections officer

CALGARY - A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of one of two former Calgary Remand Centre corrections officers whom she convicted of sexual assault nearly five months ago. 

Provincial court Judge Sharon Van de Veen agreed with the mistrial application presented by defence lawyer David Chow, who represents [the accused], after reviewing his argument.  Crown prosecutor Susan Pepper said it was the appropriate remedy in the case and consented to Chow's application. 

"I said there had to be a mistrial declared, because there was a conviction for a charge which the Crown wasn't seeking a conviction," Chow said on Friday. 
"There was no argument ever made on a sexual assault against [the accused], by the Crown or defence." 

Pepper had argued for a conviction on common assault against [the accused] in the Jan. 26, 2007, incident, in which he and [the accused] were accused of pulling the woman into a men's washroom at the facility and pinning her on a bench as one man undid her belt.  [the accused] was also convicted of sexual assault and will be back with lawyer Willie deWit to be sentenced on June 10.  [the accused] will be back in court on June 12, when Pepper will consider her position on whether or not to proceed with a second trial against him. 

During the trial, the court was told horseplay between guards was common. Both accused claimed at trial the episode was just a joke.  They admitted taking the woman into the washroom, but both denied they had committed sexual assault.