Accused police officer Kevin Burke "always wanted to face the jury" as he attempted to clear his name of multiple sexual allegations against two women, says his lawyer.
This afternoon, the detective inspector from Northland, was acquitted of two charges of indecent assault and two counts of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.
He had been on trial in the High Court at Auckland for the past two-and-a-half weeks.
"This is largely a he said, she said case," Justice Sarah Katz told the jury began they began deliberating this morning.
The 12 jurors believed what he said.
"Clearly I've got things to consider, so I'd just like time to spend with my family and my legal team," Burke told media after the verdict.
When the verdicts were read just moments earlier, the 61-year-old appeared relieved while some of his supporters were overcome with emotion.
Burke's defence counsel Arthur Fairley said "due process has been done".
"He thanks everyone involved, the jury in particular," Fairley told journalists of his client.
"The impact on his career, he's a senior policeman, he's now been acquitted."
Burke, a well-known officer in Northland, was suspended from the police in April 2017 when the criminal investigation began.
However, Fairley said Burke was yet to turn his attention to a police employment investigation.
"Just concentrating on step one, which is this trial," he said.
When asked about the allegations, Fairley said his client was steadfast in his account of events.
"As we all know, at a very early stage he gave his account, which is precisely the account he gave to this jury," the Whangarei-based lawyer said.
During the trial three police interviews with Burke were also played to the court.
"I totally refute these allegations, it just never happened," Burke said.
The top cop said the sexual contact with the first complainant was consensual, while the second set of allegations simply never occurred.
Fairley said: "From day one, my instructions were he always wanted to face the jury and give his account in person.
"With the speed of the return of the verdict after two-and-a-half weeks, clearly, one would think they accepted [his version].
"You'd have to define it as a pretty quick verdict."
However, the lawyer with 40 years of jury trial experience said cases which see witnesses required to recall memories from years ago "are very difficult".
"I thought in this particular case, in a sense, both sides had documentary contemporaneous evidence," he said.
"One doesn't know why a jury reached their verdict but ... they must've relied heavily on that."
In a statement, Detective Superintendent Chris Page also said the case had been a difficult one.
"The complainants did the right thing in coming forward and the thorough investigation of all the facts resulted in the decision to charge," he said.
"Our role is to put the best available evidence before the court to enable it to reach a decision, which is what we have done."