Cleared: Jacquelyn Laronde
This story is messed up on so many levels…
From Toronto Sun: A judge has acquitted a Kingston woman, who was formerly a man, of allegations that she sexually abused the teenage daughter of a BDSM sex partner.
“I am not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Jacquelyn Laronde committed these offences,” said Justice Jane Kelly.
She cleared the 49-year-old woman, previously known as Sean O’Toole, of sexual assault and interference charges against the girl. The Crown had alleged the offences took place in London, Ont., during the early 2000s when the girl was 12 to 17 years old.
“While I appreciate that the victim was testifying as a 30-year-old adult about what happened 15 to 18 years ago, the standard of proof remains the same,” said Kelly, adding she didn’t believe the accused’s evidence.
Despite finding inconsistencies and contradictions in the complainant’s testimony, the judge praised the woman, who passed university and is now raising her own child. “Her resilience must be commended. She has suffered much trauma in her short life but testified in a mature and poised manner,” said Kelly. “She’s to be admired for her strength.
“She testified in a very convincing manner, but her evidence was inconsistent,” said Kelly, who listed examples of contradictions and inconsistencies.
Laronde is one of three strangers, including Jason Dickens and Martin Galloway, who were allegedly invited by her parents to sexually abuse the girl. Her stepdad and mom also violated her, according to testimony at the trial.
The woman’s sister, who’s one year younger, and brother — born in 1992 — were subjected to degrading sexual abuse by their parents, court heard.
Laronde, Dickens and Galloway were BDSM sex partners with the victim’s mom.
Dickens, 48, pleaded guilty to child pornography charges stemming from this case and is facing the prospect of a dangerous offender bid. Galloway is on trial at Ontario Court of Justice and is denying any sexual contact with the girl. His trial resumes Jan. 8.
The woman testified Galloway was the first man — who came to her home — on her 13th birthday in October 2001, followed by Laronde and Dickens.
But the woman’s mom contradicted her, saying Dickens came first, Laronde next and Galloway last.
“I am relieved,” said Laronde, a disability pensioner who denied any sexual impropiety. Laronde’s lawyer, Cynthia Fromstein, added: “This was 100% the right outcome but it’s the most disturbing and troubling case I’ve ever heard.”
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