Cop acquitted on second G20 assault charge

The Toronto police officer convicted of beating G20 protester Adam Nobody with his baton was acquitted of a second G20-related assault charge Wednesday morning.

Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani was charged with striking Torontoist blogger Wyndham Bettencourt-McCarthy on June 26, 2010 during a Queen’s Park protest, leaving a nasty bruise on her right hip.

Unlike Nobody’s trial, which involved a video uploaded to YouTube, this case hinged on a single photograph showing a badgeless police officer, his face partially obscured by a visor. In the photograph, the officer has his baton raised and appears to be about to hit Bettencourt-McCarthy.

The Crown expected that a police officer would be able to identify the officer in the photograph as Andalib-Goortani during a trial.

But since the photograph – uploaded anonymously to g20justice.com – could not be authenticated, Superior Court Justice Gary Trotter declared it inadmissible at trial in a pre-trial ruling last month.

So after a trial lasting all of two minutes, in which the Crown presented no evidence, Superior Court Justice John McMahon acquitted Andalib-Goortani of assault with a weapon.

McMahon noted that the Crown has the option to appeal the decision.

Andalib-Goortani is currently on bail pending an appeal of his assault conviction, for which he was sentenced to 45 days in jail. The appeal is expected to be heard in November.

Andalib-Goortani declined to comment following his acquittal.

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