Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted Thursday of four counts of sexual assault and one of overcoming resistance by choking, but he is not yet a free man.
He remains out on bail of $100,000, in anticipation of another trial for sexual assault scheduled to begin June 6.
As Crown counsel Michael Callaghan explained last May during a brief court appearance, it stems from an alleged incident that occurred in "a different factual context" than those charges dismissed on Thursday. Rather than an intimate encounter, it concerns an alleged workplace assault that occurred while Mr. Ghomeshi was the host of CBC Radio's flagship arts show, Q, in February, 2008.
Like the trial just concluded, the case will be heard by a judge without a jury, in the Ontario Court of Justice at the Old City Hall courthouse in Toronto.
Still, Mr. Ghomeshi's team appeared to be laying the groundwork for his eventual public rehabilitation. Neither he nor his chief counsel, Marie Henein, spoke after the verdict. Instead, Mr. Ghomeshi's sister, Jila, emerged from the front doors of the courthouse to offer a different side of him than that which had been presented by his three complainants.
Ms. Ghomeshi and her mother, Azar, had attended the entire trial, sitting in the front row of the gallery. Mr. Ghomeshi had hugged each of them individually at the conclusion of the judge's verdict.
"We are relieved but not surprised by the court's decision today. It can only be surprising to those who rushed to judgment before the trial even started, and before a single word of evidence had been heard. While many people have analyzed this trial and the events leading up to it in symbolic terms, what we want to say today is deeply personal," Jila Ghomeshi told reporters, reading from a prepared text.
"We are not speaking as, for, or against women, but as members of a close family. Jian is not a symbol to us, but a beloved brother and son. My mother and I love Jian very much. Our hardest burden has been our feeling of helplessness, as we watched him endure a punishment that was delivered not only prior to a verdict, but prior to any semblance of due process for well over a year. It has been extremely painful for those of us who love him. Jian has, however, remained the person we know and love. We hope Jian and our family will be given the privacy and dignity to slowly heal from a process that has been extremely difficult."