Com­plainant would not have con­sented to sex, court told

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - NEWS - ALI­SON LANGLEY NI­A­GARA FALLS RE­VIEW

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.

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