Complainant would not have consented to sex, court told
A 19-year-old woman told court she recalls several men being on top of her as she slipped in and out of consciousness in the back of a car following a St. Catharines house party in August 2016.
“I couldn’t keep my eyes open … everything felt numb,” she said Thursday in Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines.
She told assistant Crown attorney Pat Vadacchino she recalls waking up and seeing a teenager above her and hearing laughter. “My body felt lifeless,” she said. She lapsed into unconsciousness and when she came to, there was a dark figure on top of her.
“He was putting something inside me … I don’t know what it was.”
Four Niagara Falls teenagers, all 17 when they were arrested, have each pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and being party to the offence of sexual assault.
The defendants cannot be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The name of the complainant, 18 at the time of the incident, is protected under a court-imposed publication ban.
When she came to a third time, court was told, she realized her pants and underwear were around her knees and she wasn’t wearing any shoes.
“I was terrified,” the St. Catharines resident said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”
The woman testified she jumped out of the car and screamed at the males to get away from her. She said the group drove off, leaving her alone in a parking lot.
The woman was among approximately 65 teenagers at an alcoholfuelled party Aug. 14, 2016 attended by students from Denis Morris Catholic High School in St. Catharines and A.N. Myer Secondary School in Niagara Falls.
The woman testified she consumed a number of alcoholic drinks at the party and also participated in a vodka “chugging contest” with another girl.
When asked if she was flirting at the party, the complainant replied “it was a possibility.”
“I get a little bit flirty when I drink.”
The woman, who was dating a 24-year-old at the time, did not recall dancing with any of the Myer students and said she was not sexually attracted to any of them.
“I am attracted to people who are older than me.”
She said she felt ill after “gulping” the vodka and wanted to go home.
She spotted a teenager she had met previously, one of the defendants, and asked him for a ride to her boyfriend’s home in Thorold.
“He said the car was full but I opened the back door and got in,” she said, adding she sat on someone’s lap in the back seat.
The witness said she does not remember consenting to any sexual activity but insisted she wouldn’t have had sex with the teens because she was in a relationship, and she was menstruating at the time.
The trial continues today before Judge Fergus O’Donnell.