Labatt acquitted on sex and child porn charges

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Yorkton This Week

March 31, 2017 11:42 AM

A Yorkton Provincial Court judge has found a 25-year-old man not guilty of invitation to sexual touching and possession of child pornography originating out of Kamsack.

It was alleged that while a youth camp counselor, Nathan Labatt had inappropriately propositioned a person under the age of 16 to engage in a sexual act. Prior to being arrested on January 14, 2015, Labatt had made a voluntary statement to police that he had indeed made the advance to the youth and possessed an explicit picture of the individual’s private parts on his cell phone. In the videotaped statement, presented by the Crown at trial, Labatt admitted that he assumed the victim was under 16 because they met at a youth camp, but could not definitively say how hold the child was, only offering a range of 14 to 15.

In a decision in Yorkton court this morning (March 31) Judge Patrick Koskie ruled that the Crown had not definitively proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was under the age of 16. Although Koskie said he had a reasonable suspicion that was the case, the statement of the accused to that effect fell short of the criminal standard for the establishment of age. As the age of the victim was an essential element of the crime, Koskie ruled he must find the defendant not guilty.

Labatt was also the subject of a preliminary hearing in Regina earlier in the week on distribution and possession of child pornography charges. That hearing has been scheduled for a continuation June 22.

On April 7, Labatt is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Saskatoon Provincial Court on a charge of sexual exploitation originating out of Humboldt.

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