A Saskatoon businessman is walking away free after a judge acquitted him of sexual assault charges.
Nowshad Ali faced charges of sexual interference and sexual assault based on allegations from a woman, now 21, who says Ali touched her inappropriately on two occasions in 2005, when she was 10. At the time she was being babysat by Ali and his wife.
On Friday, Justice Dan Konkin cited various issues and inconsistencies in evidence and testimony which left him with reasonable doubt.
Outside the courthouse, Ali said he hopes to put the trial behind him as he tries to restore his reputation.
“I think my work in the community stands for itself. I don’t want (this case) to be the issue that determines whether Shad Ali is a person that should stand before anyone and hold his head high,” he said.
Ali acknowledged it will likely be a lengthy process and accepted that there are some out there who will never believe he’s innocent.
“I can only do what I can do. I can only be accountable for what I’m responsible for. I will not accept responsibility for the behaviour of others,” he said.
Ron Piché, Ali’s defence lawyer, said his client likely won’t be able to win over everybody.
“The people who say ‘well, he got lucky’ or ‘there’s another guy getting off,’ there’s not much we can do about that. Those are people who are very narrow-minded in their thinking and don’t understand the system,” he said.
Details that could identify the alleged victim in this case are subject to a publication ban.