N.S. sexual assault acquittal highlights challenges in the legal system

The recent acquittal of a Nova Scotia teen accused of sexual assault highlights the legal system's barriers to convicting sexual crimes, an expert says.

Youth Court Judge Paul Scovil said in a written decision released last week that while he found the alleged victim to be credible, he was unable to convict the accused because his denial of the allegations raised a reasonable doubt.

The girl said she was sexually assaulted by her then-boyfriend in October 2015 when she was 15 years old.

She testified that the sexual encounter began as consensual, but that the 16-year-old boy refused to stop having sex with her when she told him to.

Both of the teens' names are protected by a publication ban.

Retired Dalhousie University law professor Wayne MacKay said these types of cases are complicated since they're difficult to prove, but that the judge has a legal obligation to not convict when they're left with a reasonable doubt.