David Laxton

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David Laxton is a Canadian politician who was elected to in the Yukon Legislative Assembly in the 2011 election. He served as the 10th Speaker of the Yukon Legislative Assembly and represented the electoral district of Porter Creek Centre on behalf of the Yukon Party until his resignation from caucus in mid-2016.[1][2][3]

In 2016, he was accused of sexual assault after he hugged a woman and kissed her on the lips, twice, without her consent. He had met the woman when she was working at a restaurant and developed a long time friendship. Years later ran into her at her job as a cashier at a grocery store in Whitehorse, and gave her his card when she said "it was her last day" he offered "if you think there is something I can do to help you give me a call.". It was during a meeting at his office later that the hug and kiss happened. A Yukon court dismissed the charges in a ruling released in October 2017. He argued at his trial in August that he is by nature a physically demonstrative man, and was simply being friendly with a woman who was a long-time acquaintance. He also testified that he had been similarly physical with her in the past, and always in a friendly, non-sexual way. The complainant disagreed, and told court there had never been such contact between them, and that she had given no indication of consent before David Laxton's hug and kiss at the legislative building.[4][5][6]

Faulkner decided, based on the evidence presented at trial, that David Laxton's account was more believable. "While I believe substantial portions of the complainant's testimony, I remain cautious about accepting it totally," his decision reads. "In contrast, I found Laxton's evidence quite credible. He made no attempt to deny that he had hugged and kissed the complainant. He provided a more detailed and logical account of the meeting between himself and the complainant."[7][8][9]

While David Laxton was found non-guilty the court case itself shows that hugging or kissing can constitute sexual assault in some cases in Canada.

See Also