A North River man was acquitted yesterday of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old runaway in 2005.


Douglas Foster McNutt, 52, showed relief as he accepted congratulations from supporters outside Nova Scotia Supreme Court yesterday.


Although Justice John Murphy did not offer McNutt an outright exoneration in the case, he said the contradictory evidence produced during more than a week of testimony “largely corroborated” his denials of the allegations.


The girl said McNutt began by kissing her on her birthday, and eventually fondling and then full-blown intercourse.


Defence lawyer Dave Mahoney called her testimony “fantastic” and implausible, pointing to testimony that McNutt tried to get her help from Children’s Aid.

The acquittal came a day after the girl’s father threw a punch at McNutt in the courthouse parking lot, calling him a pervert.