A former Calgary basketball coach has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage player even though the judge said he did not believe the accused's testimony.
Sean Maheu, 39, who'd been a coach with Genesis Basketball, was acquitted of sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and sexual exploitation in connection with allegations he molested a 15-year-old boy on at least four occasions in 2017.
But Maheu's legal troubles are not yet over. He has another trial set to take place this spring on a second set of charges involving a second complainant.
In that case, the alleged victim told police that in 2018, when he was 16 years old, he was sexually assaulted on several occasions by Maheu, who was his youth worker in a program run by Hull Services — an organization that works with vulnerable youth and families.
Maheu first came onto Calgary police radar in November 2020, when the first teen reported he had been sexually assaulted several times by his basketball coach.
When Maheu joined Genesis Basketball as a coach in 2016, he was employed at Hull Services.
'It's not because I believe your denials'
On Tuesday afternoon, provincial court Judge Barry Nordin acquitted Maheu on each of the four charges he was facing.
"It's not because I believe your denials, I don't. Rather, it's because I must look at the evidence as a whole."
Nordin said discrepancies and inconsistencies in the complainant's testimony left him with reasonable doubt.
"The burden of proof is high. Today, you are the beneficiary of that burden."
The complainant, who moved to Calgary with his mother and siblings in 2016, signed up to play with Genesis Basketball. Maheu was his coach.
Maheu denied all allegations
The alleged victim testified that after he joined the team, he and Maheu became close. He testified the coach gave him gifts, including a pair of basketball shoes.
The two had sleepovers at Maheu's home, the complainant said in his testimony.
But when Maheu testified, he told the judge the teen never spent the night at his home.
He also said he and the boy were rarely alone together, an assertion contradicted by another player who testified.
Maheu denied all allegations of sexual contact.
Maheu 'intentionally minimized' relationship
Both the complainant and the accused contradicted themselves in their testimony, ruled the judge.
Nordin found that some of the complainant's contradictions could be explained by the fact that he spent two years "trying to forget" the alleged assaults.
But others, the judge ruled, were more problematic.
Of the four alleged incidents, two occurred when there were others in the home, according to the complainant. But the evidence did not support those facts.
Nordin told defence lawyer Matt Deshaye and prosecutor Rose Greenwood he had "difficulty in accepting accused denials."
"He intentionally minimized his relationship with the complainant," said Nordin.