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Victim left brain-damaged, judge finds accused not guilty of aggravated assault

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A Winnipeg man has been found not guilty of aggravated assault for a parking lot attack that left his victim brain-damaged.

Robert Nasuti didn’t deny punching the victim once in the face outside of Cowboy’s bar in November 2009. But he took the witness stand in his own defence this week, saying he had no choice but to lash out or face a likely beating himself.

Queen’s Bench Justice Brenda Keyser agreed with him on Wednesday, saying she believes he acted in self-defence.

"Mr. Nasuti always maintained he acted in self-defence. Both Crown and defence witnesses alike confirmed he was standing alone and confronted by three or four fellows from the other group," defence lawyer Mike Cook told the Free Press outside court.

"The fact he only threw one punch reinforced our position that he felt threatened at the time and did the absolute minimum he could to ward off the aggressors."

The victim was a larger man than Nasuti and had made a series of sexually derogatory remarks to a group of Nasuti’s female friends who had gone to the bar that night, court was told. Nasuti claims he "reacted in a panic" when the victim then came towards him in the parking lot, clearly looking for a fight.

www.mikeoncrime.com

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