IT came down to a credibility contest between an award-winning Winnipeg police officer who denied any wrongdoing and two troubled teens who claim he molested them.
And in a "he said-they said" case with no other evidence, the officer won the legal victory.
Const. Kenneth Anderson, 50, was found not guilty Wednesday of sexually abusing the two brothers, who he took under his wing as part of an inner-city mentorship program. The verdict will allow him to resume his police career, which had been put on hold while the charges were before the courts.
Defence lawyer Hymie Weinstein said the result never should have been in doubt. "The judge accepted, without hesitation, the evidence of Ken Anderson," Weinstein told the Free Press outside court. "And there was a lack of credibility with what the (alleged victims) had to say."
Queen's Bench Justice Gerald Chartier found there were serious flaws in the stories of two brothers and said their testimony, along with conflicting evidence from Anderson, had raised a reasonable doubt.
Anderson has always denied any wrongdoing, suggesting the pair made bogus claims against him because they didn't like the structure and discipline he brought into their lives.
The two teens told vastly different stories, claiming they awoke on separate occasions to find Anderson fondling them.
Anderson, 50, was facing several charges, including sexual assault, sexual exploitation and sexual interference. He was arrested two years ago after the boys, who are now 14 and 15, went to the RCMP about incidents they say happened at two locations just outside the city in 2006.
Anderson said he worked closely with at-risk aboriginal youth and took several of them on various outings related to their culture, including sweat lodges.