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Robert Stroud

Robert Stroud

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A suspended Cape Breton Regional Police officer has been acquitted of criminally harassing a teenage girl and a young woman.Const.

Jason Doyle, 31, learned of the decision Friday in Sydney provincial court.His accusers were not present, but they won't be pleased with the ruling, the mother of the young woman told reporters outside the courtroom."I was surprised," she said.

"They're not going to be happy."Doyle, an eight-year veteran of the police force, was accused of harassing and stalking a 16-year-old girl and a 19-year-old woman between April 2006 and April 2008.During the four-day trial in May, the court heard that Doyle called the teenager at work and at home, sent her a message on Facebook and watched her from his parked vehicle.Doyle denied harassing the girl and said he thought that she was 18.As for the woman, Doyle said in court that he crossed the line when he asked her to show him her breasts on a webcam one night in April 2006, but he said he never pursued or threatened her, or sent her pornographic images.Judge Robert Stroud ruled that the Crown did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Doyle knew he was harassing his two accusers.He said there were "degrees of flirting" between Doyle and the teenager, and prior to one night in April 2008, communication between the two was "consensual and cordial.""[She] never advised him or indicated in any way that his advances were not welcome," Stroud wrote in his decision.

"In fact, during the police investigation into this matter, she told them she did not want to press charges, only to be left alone in the future."Stroud found that the evidence of the woman wasn't credible."[The woman's] evidence with respect to the [pornographic pictures] was suspect, and her demeanor on the witness stand did little to support her credibility," he wrote.Defence lawyer David Bright said he didn't feel the Crown had proven the charges."I felt from an evidentiary point of view that it was on our side because of the nature of harassment and the essential elements of harassment," he told reporters.Sexual assault chargeDoyle pleaded not guilty Friday to a charge of sexual assault in an unrelated case.

A trial date will be set on Aug.

19.Doyle has been suspended from the police department since April 2008, when the first charge was laid.

He will remain off the job while his next trial is underway.He also faces an investigation under the Police Act.Deputy police Chief Peter MacIsaac said the department will review Doyle's actions to see whether there was any abuse of authority or conduct unbecoming an officer."We will wait until that report is in and relate it to Chief Burke, and we'll go from there," said MacIsaac.
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