Vernon business man back in court for sexual assault retrial

Sex assault retrial opens

A Vernon businessman convicted of sexual assault in 2022 before having the ruling overturned was in Vernon Supreme Court Monday for a retrial.

Keith Chase was found guilty in March 2022 of one count of sexual assault involving a 16-year-old girl.

At the time of the alleged incident, in 2004, Chase was in his mid thirties and the complainant was 16-years-old.

In November 2023, Chase’s appeal to overturn the ruling was successful and a retrial was ordered.

According to court documents, Madam Justice Fenlon found trial judge Gary Weatherill made an error in admitting statements the complainant made to her parents before the trial and relying on the prior commitment statement as truth.

The 2023 ruling states; “It is a well-established principle that prior consistent statements are presumptively inadmissible because they lack probative value and amount to hearsay when considered for the truth of their contents.”

The trial is scheduled for a five-day proceeding.

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