VANCOUVER — A British Columbia man convicted of sexually assaulting two women has been granted a new trial after the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled the trial judge used inadmissible evidence to support a guilty verdict.
Allen Brooks was convicted by a provincial court judge in 2020 for sexual assaults that allegedly happened in 1990 and 1997 while he was working as an X-ray technician at a hospital in Maple Ridge.
Brooks was acquitted of a third count of sexual assault that was alleged to have occurred in 2001.
A three-member Appeal Court panel says in a unanimous decision issued Friday that the trial judge was wrong to use evidence from a fourth accuser to support the credibility of the two counts that led to the guilty verdict.
The ruling, written by Justice Elizabeth Bennett, says because the statements from the fourth woman "played a significant role in the assessment of the credibility" for two of the counts against Brooks, "a new trial must be ordered."
Brooks was charged in November 2017 after three women alleged he touched their breasts or genitals while preparing them for X-rays.
Court transcripts show the two women whose evidence resulted in the guilty verdict admitted they were either drunk or impaired by drugs at the time of their X-rays in 1990 and 1997.
The trial judge rejected the evidence of the third woman and acquitted Brooks of that charge, finding her statements raised reasonable doubt about her credibility.
She insisted she was wearing a hospital gown, when the X-rays clearly showed a zipper.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2023.
The Canadian Press