R. v. A.R.
(1) Sexual Assault;
(2) Forcible Confinement
The client, A.R., was charged with having forcibly confined and sexually assaulted a 17 year old young woman that he had met at a bar a few weeks earlier. The complainant conceded that she had engaged in consensual sexual intercourse with the client at the home of his mother shortly after they had met. She maintained, however, that this was the only time on which she willingly had sexual intercourse with the client.
The complainant testified during the client’s trial that on the morning after their first sexual encounter, she found out from the client’s mother that he had a wife in another country. The complainant testified that she immediately refused to start a relationship with client. She testified that the client kept calling her and eventually convinced her to go see his new apartment. She testified that when she attended at the client’s new apartment, he made sexual advances towards her, and when she rebuffed his advances, he did not allow her to leave and he eventually held her down and sexually assaulted her on his bed.
The complainant left the apartment and met up at a coffee shop with a man who may or may not have been her boyfriend. When her friend displayed his anger at her being late in arriving at the coffee shop, she told him that she had been sexually assaulted by the client.
The complainant was an interesting young woman. She was a single mother who had given birth to a child two years previously by caesarean section when she was 15 years of age.
The client, however, was a relatively small man. In cross-examination, the complainant testified that she was not wearing any underwear at the time of the alleged sexual assault and that her clothing otherwise made it easy for the client to commit the sexual assault. She explained that in the two years following her caesarean section, she was in the habit of not wearing any underwear since the underwear irritated her scar. She denied that she could have purchased some type of underwear that would not have caused her discomfort. Her denial in this regard was suspicious. More significantly, she also denied that there was a second occasion on which she had consensual sexual intercourse with the client on the grass behind her apartment building a few nights before the alleged sexual assault. When I pressed her in cross-examination with respect to this second incident of consensual sexual intercourse, she abruptly stated that she had sex with the client in the stairwell of the fire escape of her apartment building and not on the grass. When I pointed out that she had earlier testified that she had consensual sexual intercourse with the client on only one occasion prior to the alleged sexual assault, she testified that she had forgotten about the second occasion.
These types of admissions from complainants are rare, however, they become more common as the experience and advocacy skills of the defence lawyer increase.
After the completion of the complainant’s evidence, the trial Judge advised the Crown and I that she would be disposing of the charges against the client by directing the jury to return a verdict of acquittal. In other words, the jury was instructed by the trial Judge that, as a matter of law, the jury was required to return a verdict of not guilty with respect to both of the charges which the client was facing. Accordingly, the client was acquitted.