In his ruling, Horkins cited issues of credibility with Ghomeshi's accusers, and said their "suppression" of evidence and "deceptions" under oath made it hard to trust their testimony.
"The quality of the evidence failed to prove the case", Horkins said in delivering the verdict.
Ghomeshi pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking.
The CBC began an inquiry into Mr Ghomeshi's sexual activities after the Toronto Star newspaper began investigating allegations by an ex-girlfriend that he had engaged in non-consensual, violent sex with her.
"The expectations of the public towards the Crown, in my view, were unfair", she said, noting that the legal system in general could improve to better prepare complainants for what's expected of them and could move to require police to check in with complainants about a month before trials.
Horkins said that the witness explained that the witness tried to explain her behaviour away, saying that she told the court "this was her first kick at the can" and she didn't know how to navigate the court.
"I was never invested in the outcome of the verdict", she said. Henein also pointed to inconsistencies between what the women told police initially and what they ultimately testified to at trial, although each was consistent in saying that Ghomeshi had punched, choked, or slapped them.
Dozens of women chanting, "We believe survivors!" gathered outside the courthouse in frigid conditions, condemning the verdict and what they called the unfair treatment of sexual assault victims by the justice system.
The second complainant, actress Lucy DeCoutere, the only woman who can be identified in the case, testified Ghomeshi suddenly pushed her against a wall, started choking her and slapping her face when they had been kissing in his bedroom in the summer of 2003.
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Scott Ladd, a spokesman for the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey, which runs several New York-area airports, including John F. The Metro Police tweeted out reassurance that while there is no known threat as of yet, extra precautions will be taken.
During cross-examination of the first complainant in the case, Henein presented two emails the witness sent Ghomeshi more than a year after the accused allegedly assaulted her in December 2002 and January 2003.
"Jian is not a symbol to us, but a beloved brother and son", Jila Ghomeshi said.
Ghomeshi still faces another sex assault trial based on allegations from a fourth complainant in June.
"The inability to recall such a sequence of events from over a decade ago" would not normally be troubling, the judge said. Had Ghomeshi, 48, been found guilty he could have received a life-sentence - instead he walked out of court a free man today.
"It suggests a degree of carelessness with the truth that diminishes the general reliability of the witness".
November 25, 2014: The CBC says Ghomeshi has reached an agreement with the network to withdraw his $55-million lawsuit against the public broadcaster.
Some advocates for sexual assault victims anxious that the women were being put on trial rather than the alleged attacker. He would have to look past the fact that DeCoutere left out of her 19 media interviews that she cuddled with Ghomeshi in a park following the alleged sexual assault, and that she didn't mention it to police because she thought she was supposed to be "brief" in her statement.
Shannon Prithipaul A Criminal Defense Lawyer & Partner with Gunn Law Group says when one of the complainants continued to show interest in Ghomeshi, it brings doubt to the plaintiff.
She saw Ghomeshi at another taping, which was uneventful, and then went for a third with a friend.