Three-judge panel reserves decision in appeal of Trachy acquittal

Retired Chatham music teacher Claude Eric Trachy will have to wait to see if his acquittal on sexual-related charges in connection to measuring the breasts of former teenage students while fitting them for shoulder rests for violins and violas will stand.

Claude Eric Trachy, seen in this file photo, kept his face hidden from view when arriving at the Chatham Court House in Chatham, Ont. for his trial in April 2018. He was acquitted of historic sex-related charges involving 25 female complainants. An appeal of the verdict by the Crown went before the Ontario Court of Appeal on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 in Toronto, Ont. (Postmedia Network)

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Retired Chatham music teacher Claude Eric Trachy will have to wait to see if his acquittal on sexual-related charges in connection to measuring the breasts of former teenage students while fitting them for shoulder rests for violins and violas will stand.

An appeal of the acquittal by the Crown went before the Ontario Court of Appeal on Tuesday in Toronto. The court has reserved its decision, so the three justices presiding over the hearing will return at a later date with a decision on the appeal after hearing arguments from both sides.

Trachy was found not guilty on April 23, 2018, of dozens of counts of sexual exploitation involving 25 former students dating as far back as the 1970s.

Complainants testified during the trial that Trachy had touched their breasts, and had some remove their tops, while they were being measured for a shoulder rest for their instrument.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Thomas Carey, who presided over the trial, ruled Trachy did not touch his students for a sexual purpose. The judge also believed Trachy’s evidence – that measurements were made to help students better play their instruments – to be credible.

Prosecutors for the Crown are asking the court to either convict Trachy on some of the charges or order a new trial on all of them.

The Crown is alleging the trial judge oversimplified the allegations to focus exclusively on whether Trachy acted with a sexual purpose.

The defence is arguing the appeal has no legal basis and the Crown is simply seeking a “do-over” of the trial.

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