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Stephenville teen acquitted of charges in second trial with one decision to come

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The Stephenville teenager who is in court for three trials for alleged sexual assault has been acquitted of his charges in his second trial.

Judge Lynn E. Cole gave the decision when the youth appeared before her in Stephenville Provincial Court on Tuesday.

He was also acquitted of charges earlier in his first trial when he appeared before Cole on Aug. 27.

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The allegations rocked Stephenville High School during the last school year and students there pushed for the province to update its safety policies when the student remained in the school for some time after the charges were laid.

The teenager, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, pleaded not guilty to all charges before him in both court cases for which he has been acquitted.

The charges acquitted in the first court case included sexual assault, forcible confinement and using a "stupefying or overpowering drug” to help commit sexual assault. The attack was alleged to have occurred on October of 2017 in or near Stephenville.

The second trial involved three counts including: sexual assault, assault and an alleged attempt to choke his accuser "with his hands" last December in or near Stephenville.

A third outstanding matter involves the youth pleading guilty to one count of sexual interference and a decision on whether a count of sexual assault and another of sexual interference will be dropped. One other original count of sexual assault has already been dropped.

The decision on that matter is expected to come down in early January.

The latter incidents allegedly occurred between Sept. 22 and Oct. 9 in 2017.

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