Jesse McNiven and Fraser McGurk found not guilty of sexual assault

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Jesse McNiven, centre left, and Fraser McGurk, centre right, were found not guilty of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in Yellowknife in June 2015. (Travis Burke/CBC - image credit)
Jesse McNiven, centre left, and Fraser McGurk, centre right, were found not guilty of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in Yellowknife in June 2015. (Travis Burke/CBC - image credit)

The jury in the trial of two men accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl while she was extremely intoxicated in 2015 has found Jesse McNiven and Fraser McGurk not guilty.

McNiven and McGurk were each facing one count of sexual assault after being accused of forcing an intoxicated 17-year-old girl to have sex with them in June 2015.

A group of women in the courtroom to support the complainant wept as the verdict was read aloud. So too did McNiven. McGurk stood beside his lawyer and showed no emotion.

The 12-person jury deliberated for eight hours Saturday.

During the five-day trial, jurors heard from four witnesses: the complainant, the lead RCMP investigator and both accused.

The complainant, now 24, said she cannot recall much of the night but remembers waking from "blackouts" several times to being sexually assaulted by the two men. She told the court she also remembers her wrists being bound with tape.

In their testimony, both McGurk and McNiven said they repeatedly received consent from the teenager and that she didn't appear to be intoxicated to the point of being incapacitated.

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