One of two men who were arrested in the April 2016 sexual assault of three women in Wesbrook Village was acquitted yesterday by the BC Supreme Court. Yuan Zhi Gao, a former UBC student, was charged with breaking-and-entering with the intent to commit sexual assault.
David Singh Tucker, Gao’s co-accused and the main perpetrator according to facts admitted at the trial, was charged with break-and-enter, sexual assault and causing bodily harm, forcible confinement, robbery and wearing a mask with intent to commit an indictable offence. He died in July 2016 while being held at a Surrey pre-trial facility.
The main issue up for debate was about whether Gao had also entered the ground-floor apartment, located on Birney Avenue, or had stayed outside to be a lookout for Tucker. Gao’s defence argued that Gao was not fully aware of Tucker’s intentions, at one point even claiming that Tucker had intended frame him.
Gao testified that he did not enter the apartment. The court also heard that there was no forensic evidence of his presence inside the apartment, and the survivors of the assault said they did not see him.
The judge found that there was enough reasonable doubt for both scenarios, citing no direct evidence that Gao was assisting Tucker.