Vic­tim sees ac­cused amid fes­ti­val throng

Judge sides with woman who says she was beat up at Cen­ter of Grav­ity event

The Daily Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By ANDREA PEA­COCK

A young woman has been found guilty of as­sault­ing another woman dur­ing the 2016 Cen­ter of Grav­ity mu­sic fes­ti­val week­end.

Sarah Marie McMillen, 25, was charged with as­sault caus­ing bod­ily harm against Ariel Jarvis. McMillen had pleaded not guilty.

On July 8, 2016, Jarvis and a friend drove to Kelowna from Ab­bots­ford to at­tend Cen­ter of Grav­ity, the court heard Tues­day.

That night, the two of them and another friend went to two night­clubs in down­town Kelowna for Jarvis’s 25th birth­day.

At some point dur­ing the evening, Jarvis met a man by the name of Moses, who joined their group.

As the des­ig­nated driver, Jarvis did not drink al­co­hol that night, said Judge Mar­guerite Shaw.

About 2 a.m., Jarvis and three other peo­ple walked back to her car be­hind Kelly O’Bryan’s restau­rant, where they came upon a man and a woman ar­gu­ing.

“On first see­ing the cou­ple, Jarvis says the woman was push­ing at the man’s chest and she looked like she was cry­ing,” said Shaw.

Jarvis heard the man tell the woman to calm down, then Moses mim­icked his words in a sar­cas­tic voice. The woman made a com­ment, and Moses again mocked her, said Shaw.

“The woman came to­wards Moses and he ran around Jarvis’s car, with the woman com­ing af­ter him,” she said.

The man stepped in front of Moses, back­ing him up across the street. Jarvis tried to go to­ward Moses, but the woman moved in front of her, block­ing her.

Jarvis said she asked the woman to tell her friend to let Moses go, but the woman re­fused.

Around this time, a man eat­ing fries was walk­ing down the street to­ward the group.

“Jarvis re­ports the woman moved around her on the left side, and went and pushed the man, who went back­wards scat­ter­ing the fries,” said Shaw.

Jarvis moved to­ward Moses, who was backed up against the tail­gate of a white truck by the man.

The woman then came up be­hind Jarvis on the left side and punched her. The next mem­ory Jarvis has was sit­ting in the hos­pi­tal.

Jarvis’s in­juries in­cluded three bruised ribs on her left side, a bro­ken col­lar­bone, three con­tu­sions on the left side of her head and sev­eral bruises and scratches on her shoul­der, hip and knee.

Jarvis said it took about four months to re­cover.

Later that day, Jarvis and her friends went back to the Cen­ter of Grav­ity fes­ti­val, and Jarvis spot­ted the ac­cused go­ing into the beer gar­den. Jarvis told one of her friends to take a photo of the ac­cused, which he did.

She then sent the photo to her mom and some friends, telling them the woman in the photo was the per­son who beat her up.

Later that night, Jarvis re­ceived a text mes­sage from a friend, say­ing she found the woman in the photo at a Kelowna night­club.

Another per­son took a photo of the ac­cused, and Jarvis’s friend picked up a driver’s li­cence the woman had dropped and saw the name on it was Sarah Marie McMillen.

The next day, Jarvis went to the police sta­tion to dis­cuss the in­ci­dent.

She then went back to Cen­ter of Grav­ity, where she spot­ted the ac­cused in the lineup to get into the fes­ti­val.

Jarvis con­tacted the police and even­tu­ally of­fi­cers ar­rived and ar­rested the ac­cused.

The main is­sue in this case is the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the woman who as­saulted Jarvis, said Shaw.

“Jarvis’s iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the ac­cused is not equiv­o­cal,” said Shaw, adding Jarvis was able to pick out McMillen from hun­dreds of peo­ple at Cen­ter of Grav­ity, and she also pos­i­tively iden­ti­fied

McMillen in the court­room, where McMillen was not the only young fe­male present.

Jarvis was also sober at the time of the event, and said she was able to see McMillen clearly in the light of a street lamp.

Shaw con­firmed the woman in the pho­tos was McMillen.

“In con­sid­er­ing all of the ev­i­dence, I find the com­plainant Ariel Jarvis has pos­i­tively iden­ti­fied the ac­cused Sarah McMillen as the woman who as­saulted her on July 9, 2016,” said Shaw.

“As a re­sult, I find Sarah McMillen guilty of count one, as­sault of Ariel Jarvis.”

A pre­sen­tence re­port has been re­quested for McMillen.

Her next court ap­pear­ance is set for Feb. 6.

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