Charges against former Kitchener vice principal dismissed

Charges against a former Kitchener vice principal who was accused of sex-related crimes against teens have been dismissed.

Reuben Lazar was on trial for sex assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation involving two teenaged boys.

On Wednesday, Justice Gary Hearn dismissed those charges. The judge told court he had concerns with the evidence.

"The judge has given a long and very thorough examination of the evidence and come to the occlusion that the Crown hasn't proven the case," defence lawyer Brennan Smart said. "The amount of talk between various witnesses and complainants prior to going to the police and after. Even during trial they continued, despite being told not to discuss evidence, they continued to socialize."

“Cases like this one are difficult and the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a very high standard to reach," assistant Crown attorney Brendan Thomas said in an emailed statement to CTV News. "It is not an easy process for complainants but it is sometimes a necessary one and I admire the young people who were involved in this trial for their willingness to come forward and to testify.”

Lazar was first charged with seven counts of sexual-related charges against teens, but during the trial three of those charges were withdrawn.

Lazar was convicted in 2019 of molesting a teenage boy and served a 10-month sentence. During that trial more victims came forward.

At the time of Lazar’s arrest in 2016, he was a vice principal at Forest Heights Collegiate Institute. He previously worked at W.T. Townshend Public School and MacGregor Public School.

Smart said there were no similarities between the two cases and said Lazar is happy Wednesday's outcome.