Noel Avadluk v. His Majesty the King

(Northwest Territories) (Criminal) (By Leave)

(Publication ban in case)


Criminal law — Jury trial — Inconsistent verdicts — Charge to jury — Sexual assault — Intoxication — Consent — Overcoming resistance — Whether Court of Appeal erred in its review of inconsistent verdicts by applying an emergent and categorical approach — Whether failure to answer jury’s question and instruct on alcohol intoxication and consent occasioned a miscarriage of justice?


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch). Please note that summaries are not provided to the Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file and website for information purposes only.


The complainant testified that, after an evening together drinking, Mr. Avadluk sexually assaulted her in a bathroom and then in a bedroom. During the sexual assaults, he covered her nose and mouth with his hand, causing her to pass out. Mr. Avadluk testified to consensual sexual intercourse. During deliberations, the jury asked: “What is the law regarding alcohol intoxication and consent?” The trial judge did not give further instructions and asked the jury to be more specific. The jury did not ask any further questions. Mr. Avadluk was convicted for sexual assault and acquitted of attempting suffocation to overcome resistance for the purpose of committing sexual assault. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.

Lower Court Rulings

August 29, 2014
Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories

S-1-CR-2012 000093
Conviction by jury for sexual assault; acquittal on count of overcoming resistance to commission of an offence
April 27, 2023
Court of Appeal for the Northwest Territories

2023 NWTCA 3, A1-AP-2014-000011
Appeal dismissed