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Historical sexual offences trial concludes

Justice Bonnie Warkentin is expected to rule next fall in the case against Albert Kozlowski, who is facing sexual assault and sexual interference charges dating back to a period between 2008 and 2014.
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THUNDER BAY - The defense attorney for a man facing several sexual offences argues the evidence in the case, while not impossible, is implausible, while the Crown says it proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Closing arguments were presented on the third day of the trial against 67-year-old Albert Kozlowski of Oliver Paipoonge, who is facing charges of sexual interference, sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching, and forcible confinement.

The charges date back to incidents that allegedly took place between October 2008 and December 2014 and relate to a single victim who was between the ages of seven and 13 at the time. The complainant came forward in April 2017 and the charges against Kozlowski were made public that August.

Throughout the three-day trial, defense attorney, Neil McCartney called two witnesses, while the Crown called three.

In his closing submission, McCartney told Justice Bonnie Warkentin that the evidence presented as part of his defense raises a reasonable doubt and Kozlowski should be found not guilty on all charges.

The complainant testified on the first day of the trial on Monday and detailed five incidents that took place but said there could have been between 15 or 20 incidents.

McCartney said certain aspects of the complainant’s testimony were ‘too hard to believe,’ and the court must give the benefit of doubt to the accused.

Crown prosecutor, Tiffany Boisvert, concluded her case by telling the court the testimony by the two Crown witnesses was candid and real and the complainant was steadfast during cross-examination.

A publication ban is in place on any details that could identify the complainant.

Justice Warkentin said it is expected of her to take some time to review the evidence in detail before rendering a verdict, which will be handed down in September.

Kozlowlski was also facing three counts of careless storage of a firearm, but the Crown presented no evidence and asked the court for an acquittal on those charges.