The trial of a Charlottetown man accused of sexual assault has ended with a deadlocked jury.
The eight men and four women could not come to a decision after five and a half days of testimony and arguments, and a day and a half of deliberations.
So at around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Justice Tracey Clements declared a mistrial in the case of Edward Thomas Mundle, 58.
"One of the most important roles we play as Canadians is to serve on a jury," the judge told the jurors. "While you were not able to reach a verdict, I certainly thank you for your time, and your diligence in this matter."
Clements declared the mistrial after the jurors sent a note to her saying: "We have reached an impasse. It is unlikely we will get past it."
This was after they had listened twice to part of the testimony complainant Stephanie Douglas gave.
She testified that the incident at the heart of this case happened early on New Years Day 2014.
Mundle and Douglas had been in a casual dating relationship for a few months by that time, having met on the dating site Plenty of Fish.
Their relationship included consensual sexual activity with dominant and submissive role-playing.
But on the right in question, Douglas testified Mundle disregarded their pre-arranged safe word, and sexually assaulted her, causing what she called "excruciating" pain.
Days later, she was in hospital with a life-threatening bacterial infection, which she believes was caused by the sexual assault.
In Mundle's 2019 videotaped statement to police, he denied assaulting her in the way she claimed, and said he did nothing without her consent.
The case will be back in arraignment court on June 8 to determine whether the Crown will seek a retrial.
Unusually for the Canadian court system, Douglas chose not to ask the Crown to seek a publication ban on her name. She told the court she wanted to tell her story publicly.
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