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New trial ordered for former Sask. healing lodge manager convicted of sexual assault

The Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in Maple Creek houses female aboriginal offenders. (Correctional Service Canada - image credit)
The Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in Maple Creek houses female aboriginal offenders. (Correctional Service Canada - image credit)

A former senior manager convicted of sexual assault at a healing lodge in Maple Creek is getting a new trial.

Stanley Dorie worked as acting deputy director at the Okimaw Ochi Healing Lodge in 2015. He was accused — and later convicted in 2018 — of two counts of sexual assault on inmates at the federal prison for women.

Part of his defence was that logbooks at the lodge showed he was not there at the time of one of the assaults, but the original rial judge described the sign-in sheet logbook as a 'self-serving document' that was unreliable.

The Court of Appeal disagreed.

"The trial judge gave only three reasons for discounting Mr. Dorie's credibility. The first of these reasons was related to the evidence surrounding the sign‑in sheet. It is possible that the trial judge's assessment of Mr. Dorie's credibility would have been the same had he not misapprehended the evidence about the sign-in sheet. However, that is not the question," the decision said.

"The misapprehension led the trial judge to conclude that Mr. Dorie had provided misleading evidence. It is clear that this finding played a key part in the trial judge's determination that Mr. Dorie was not a credible witness in general and therefore in his conclusion that he did not have a reasonable doubt on either charge of sexual assault."

Dorie was given a 15-month sentence for one count of sexual assault and another 12-month sentence for the second count in a Swift Current provincial court. The sentences were to be served concurrently.

The sex assaults took place in 2015 when the two women, who cannot be named because of a publication ban, were serving time at the lodge, which is on the Nekaneet First Nation.