Cabbie acquitted of sex assault investigated for similar offence in 2012

Court documents show that a Halifax cab driver who was acquitted last week of sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman in his taxi was accused of a sexual offence by another woman in 2012.

A search warrant filed in court says officers investigated an allegation against Bassam Al-Rawi five years ago, although charges were never laid.

Halifax police Const. Dianne Penfound said today that they are reopening a 2012 investigation against a cab driver and had been in touch with the alleged victim, but could not confirm the suspect's name since charges have not been laid.

She said officers found at the time that there was not enough evidence to proceed with a charge.

A search warrant filed in court say the woman in the 2012 case alleged that she was intoxicated and was driven to an apartment by Al-Rawi, where he allegedly took her upstairs and sexually assaulted her.

According to the warrant, Al-Rawi told police he did not recall the incident, but that he would never force someone to have sex or have sex with someone who was sleeping or passed out.

In a separate incident detailed in the warrant, another woman alleged that Al-Rawi picked her up in 2014, drove past her house and kept going around the block, calling her "baby" and grabbing her hand when she tried to get out of the cab.

Al-Rawi's lawyer, Luke Craggs, says he has no comment on the earlier allegations.

The information about the earlier claims was contained in a search warrant related to the more recent incident on May 23, 2015, in which police say they found a woman passed out, partially dressed and highly inebriated in the back of his cab.

He was charged with sexual assault, but was acquitted by Judge Gregory Lenehan in a decision that sparked protests and calls for his removal from the bench before the Crown announced Tuesday that it would file an appeal.

The judge found the Crown failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman did not consent to the sexual activity.