March 24, 2016 12:52 PM EDT

The former Canadian radio host whose career was rocked by allegations of sexual assault by multiple women was acquitted Thursday in a trial that could have put him behind bars for life.

Jian Ghomeshi, 48, hugged his family after the not guilty verdict was read in a Toronto courtroom, according to CTV News, closing a chapter to a scandal that cast the ex-Canadian Broadcasting Corp. personality in a harsh light.

Ghomeshi had pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking. He faced a maximum of 18 months in prison on the assault charges but a potential….

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