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Accused in sexual assault trial ‘frightening’

Two more teenage girls testified as victims during a sexual assault trial that continued Friday in Red Deer provincial court.

The trial began Wednesday with testimony from three youth who were members of Scouts and Cadet groups in Red Deer when they were allegedly assaulted by another member of the youth groups, between 2011 to 2015.

The accused, who is now 18, is charged with five counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual assault with a weapon and one count each of sexual interference and an indecent act.

The male accused cannot be identified because he was a youth at the time of the offences.

A court ordered publication ban protects the identity of the victims as well.

On Friday, a 16-year-old girl told the court that the accused fondled and kissed her on four separate occasions between 2013 and 2015.

Both of them were cadets, but the incidents happened outside the program.

She said they dated for one day when the first assault happened.

“If he wanted to be, he could be kind. Other times, he could be very scary. One time he was very frightening,” she said.

A 17-year-old girl also testified she started out as more than friends with the accused through texting conversations, but they actually never dated.

She said between 2014 and 2015, the accused fondled and kissed her during three separate incidents, including once when he put his hand down the front of her dress.

She said she was ashamed of herself for being too trusting.

“He had a way of making you trust him and acting different when no one else was around,” she said.

Defence lawyer Kevin Schollie suggested the witness was angry at his client for criticizing her performance while at cadets and that she made advances towards his client at a cadet camp in 2015.

Schollie also suggested the 16-year-old witness was out to cause problems for his client because of her friendship with the 17-year-old witness, and there were instances when his client rejected the 16-year-old when she wanted a relationship.

A voir dire, or a trial within the trial, began Friday looking at whether RCMP followed proper procedure and the admissibility of the accused’s statement to police.

RCMP officers were called as witnesses and the voir dire continues before Judge Darrel Riemer on Monday.

 
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