The sexual assault charges against former Fort McKay Métis Group CEO Dwayne Roth were withdrawn this week before his trial was to begin in Court of Queen’s Bench.
Roth was charged in 2020 with two counts of sexual assault. The incidents were alleged to have happened in Lac La Biche, Alta., in 2017. Roth was arrested on June 14, 2020.
At a news conference in front of Fort McMurray’s courthouse on Wednesday, Roth said: “I am vindicated.”
Roth’s wife Kari stood beside him while he thanked his family for staying with him through the legal process.
Roth said the charges have affected his ability to find work. His trial had been scheduled to begin on Monday.
“It was a relief, it was surreal,” Roth said. “The nightmare is finally over and I can start the healing process.”
An emailed statement sent on behalf of Crown prosecutor Barry Loutit said new information arose between the time the jury was selected and the time the matter reconvened.
Given the new evidence, “the prosecutor re-elected to Queen’s Bench (judge alone) where the jury was dismissed, no evidence was called and the matter was dismissed,” the statement read, in part.