UPDATED: Former political candidate known for crazy video is acquitted of sexual assault charge

Wyatt Scott of Mission had been accused of inappropriately touching a female employee

Former Mission political candidate Wyatt Scott was acquitted of a sexual assault charge Wednesday in Abbotsford provincial court.

The judge indicated in his ruling that it had not been proven that Scott had acted without the complainant’s consent or without believing there was consent.

The trial for Scott, who made headlines for an outlandish video during the 2015 federal election campaign, began Monday, when the complainant – a former employee of Scott’s – testified that he made unwanted sexual advances to her that included rubbing his body against hers and making suggestive comments.

But Scott’s lawyer, in cross-examining the complainant, painted a picture of a mutually flirtatious relationship in which Scott felt the complainant was open to his advances.

Scott, 40, was charged in March 2016 with one count of sexual assault, allegedly occurring between November 2014 and April 2015 at the Mission rock-and-gem business he and his wife own.

Scott is best known for releasing a YouTube video in 2015, when he was running as an independent federal election candidate in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding won by Jati Sidhu.

The video depicted Scott riding a Canada goose, slaying a dragon, fist-bumping an alien and shooting laser beams out of his eyes.

His former employee, whose name is protected under a publication ban, testified that she began working for Scott in November 2014, when she was 20 years old, and they developed a friendly working relationship over the next few months.

But she said she became increasingly uncomfortable with his behaviour.

“It started out with just comments being made that, to me, were inappropriate,” she said.

For example, she said if she wanted to purchase a store product and asked Scott how much it was, he would reply, “Just two minutes of your time.”

On another occasion, she said Scott showed her a picture on his phone that was apparently of a note from his wife, giving him permission to have a mistress.

The woman said the behaviour escalated to physical touching. She said if she was working at the front counter, Scott would walk behind her and press up against her, even though there was room for him to get by without touching her.

On another occasion, she said Scott called her into the back room and asked her to sit down. He then pulled her chair towards him so her knee was between his legs.

In the final incident, the woman was leaning up against a desk when she said Scott approached her, took her hands in his, stretched her arms out and pressed his body against hers.

She said she pushed her hands away from him and wiggled free.

The woman said she then told Scott’s wife about the incident, and she was fired. She then filed a police report in July 2015.

In cross-examining the woman, defence lawyer Alexis Falk asked her about whether she remembered specific incidents in which she hugged Scott, massaged his shoulders, kissed him on the cheek, slapped him on his bottom, and jumped on him and wrapped her arms and legs around him.

The complainant often replied that she didn’t remember specific incidents, but that she and her co-workers often exhibited those behaviours with one another.

“We were all a huggy bunch,” she said.

Falk also suggested during her questioning that the woman was fired not because she told Scott’s wife about the alleged incidents, but because the shop was struggling financially. Two others were fired the same day, Falk pointed out.

Falk also suggested that the woman often flirted with Scott, but she denied the claim.

“I’m a very happy, friendly person. It all depends on how someone else sees it,” she said.

NOTE: Due to an incorrect notation in court records, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that charges had been dismissed against Wyatt Scott, rather than that he had been acquitted. Although the outcome is the same, a dismissal generally comes before the start or end of a trial, while an acquittal comes after the trial has concluded.

Just Posted

Talks continue on structure of regional fire departments

Okanagan-Similkameen directors heard under the current structure the CAO’s title would need to change

PRICK! sees increase in patients

The rainbow friendly service offers STI and HIV screening monthly

First Things First evoking the power of song and play

Environmental group educating through entertainment

Robbie Burns supper celebrates 260th birthday of the Ploughman Poet

Penticton Scottish Festival Society hosts annual celebration

Penticton Vees win in 10-round shootout in Merritt

The win is the Vees’ sixth win and third shootout in a row.

Video: 100 days until the David E. Kampe Tower opens

Penticton Regional Hospital started the 100-day countdown until the new tower opens to the public

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read