Image of Ghomeshi, right: Getty

This morning in a Toronto court, popular ex-CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi was cleared of four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking to overcome resistance.

The three complainants in the case alleged that Ghomeshi had been violent with them during romantic encounters, pulling their hair, slapping and hitting them. One—Lucy DeCoutere, an actress in the comedy Trailer Park Girls and captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force—alleged that Ghomeshi had choked her and left her nearly unable to breathe.

The verdict was decided by Ontario Court Justice William Horkins, who bluntly stated in his written verdict that he felt Ghomeshi’s victims had been untruthful under oath because he felt their testimony was “inconsistent,” and insincere.

[138] The success of this prosecution depended entirely on the Court being able to accept each complainant as a sincere, honest and accurate witness. Each complainant was revealed at trial to be lacking in these important attributes. The evidence of each complainant suffered not just from inconsistencies and questionable behaviour, but was tainted by outright deception.

[139] The harsh reality is that once a witness has been shown to be deceptive and manipulative in giving their evidence, that witness can no longer expect the Court to consider them to be a trusted source of the truth. I am forced to conclude that it is impossible for the Court to have sufficient faith in the reliability or sincerity of these complainants. Put simply, the volume of serious deficiencies in the evidence leaves the Court with a reasonable doubt.

According to the Toronto Star, Ghomeshi defense attorney Marie Heinen used text messages and other communication between Ghomeshi and his accusers to tarnish their testimony. The judge, evidently, found it convincing.

Nonetheless, Horkins applied a strict reading of the law in deciding Ghomeshi’s fate, stating that his conclusion that there was reasonable doubt of Ghomeshi’s innocence was not a determination that the attacks never took place.

Ghomeshi, who was fired in October of 2014 after the CBC saw “graphic evidence” that he had “caused physical injury to a woman,” faces another trial in June on a final count of sexual assault regarding an incident that occurred in the workplace.