An Acadia varsity basketball player was found not guilty of assault causing bodily harm today in Kentville court.
The charges against Owen Klassen stemmed from an incident that occurred exactly a year ago, Feb. 19, outside of the Anvil Tavern in Wolfville, when he was alleged to have pushed his ex-girlfriend when she approached him while he was involved in a shoving match with another man.
Klassen admitted to pushing someone, but testified he did not know who it was and he was worried it was a friend of the man whom he was fighting with.
Judge Alan Tufts dismissed defence attorney Chris Manning’s argument that the 21-year-old man acted instinctively, but accepted the argument Klassen acted in self-defence and the force used was not excessive in the context.
“His belief, albeit mistaken, was reasonable, and was entitled to use force to defend himself,” Tufts said.
Klassen is also facing a second charge of assault involving the same woman. He returns to court March 28 for trial.
Acadia’s athletics director Kevin Dickie has previously stated Klassen would continue to play for the team during the legal process.