A southern Alberta man charged with sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and sexual assault has been found not guilty on all three charges in a Lethbridge courtroom Monday afternoon.
Edmond Armit was accused of abusing his former girlfriend’s young daughter while living with them in Lethbridge more than 15 years ago.
Armit denied ever touching her or exposing himself to her.
The case first came to court in the early summer of 2022 but up until Monday, there was a publication ban on the alleged victim’s name.
The judge lifted that ban after delivering his decision, at Danielle Loney’s request.
“Victims, they should not be ashamed,” Loney said. “They should not be scared to have their names put out there.”
Loney and her mother Cobey Roberts were the two witnesses to testify as the case progressed.
While the judge recognized it may be difficult for a seven- or eight-year-old to remember certain details, he said serious issues and inconsistencies with some of the testimony made it impossible for him to find Armit guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Historic sexual assault trial continues in Lethbridge
For example, Danielle had alleged the incidents took place almost every day, often in the morning or evening while her mother was at work or sleeping, but the judge said testimony from Cobey and Armit about their work schedules cast doubt on Danielle’s recollection.
Armit’s lawyer said he was not surprised the court found inconsistencies in the witness testimony.
While it wasn’t the outcome they were hoping for, Danielle hopes to inspire others after coming forward as an adult.
“There’s power in numbers, so the more I believe we make this be known, the stigma’s going to end,” she said.
“We don’t want any victims discouraged by the outcome of my daughter’s case. We want them to come forward, don’t be afraid, we’re going to keep fighting,” Roberts added.
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