Sex assault complainant’s memory questioned at trial

TORONTO — A woman who accused three Toronto police officers of sexually assaulting her after a night of drinking testified Monday she was certain she didn’t consent to sex with the men, despite not remembering all the details of what happened.

As defence lawyers tried to cast doubt on her testimony, the woman — a parking enforcement officer who cannot be named — told the trial of the three constables that she had been honest with the court.

“I believed all the evidence I’ve provided is what I believe to be true,” she said at the judge-alone trial of Joshua Cabero, Leslie Nyznik, and Sameer Kara.

All three officers have pleaded not guilty in connection with the alleged incident on Jan. 17, 2015, which the woman has said took place at a downtown hotel after a long night of partying together.

On Monday, lawyers for the officers zeroed in on the woman’s memory.

One of them noted that she told the court last week that she walked with the accused from a bar to a strip club. Under cross examination, the woman conceded the walk didn’t occur. A police officer, who was with the accused and the woman, later told the court the group hailed a cab to the strip club.

“Obviously you accept now that was wrong?” asked Kara’s lawyer, Alan Gold.

“Yes,” the woman said.

“Yet you persisted even in cross examination, you said you remember walking,” Gold said.

“Perhaps I was more intoxicated at that point,” she said.

Gold went on to question the rest of the woman’s recollections, particularly what she has told the court about what happened with the officers between 12:20 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. in a hotel room.

“You voluntarily participated in an act that you simply do not remember, why is that not possible?” Gold asked.

“Because the parts I do remember, I definitely was not consenting,” the woman said.

The woman told court last week she felt powerless and unable to move or speak when three Toronto police officers had sex with her against her wishes.

She also testified that she believes she was drugged at some point, but didn’t know when, where, how or by whom. She said she told staff at the hospital she believed she was drugged, but didn’t ask them to perform any tests.

“How are we to tell your memories apart, some that are so detailed and some that are so inaccurate?” asked Cabero’s lawyer, Patrick Ducharme.

The woman, however, remained firm in her stance about the alleged sexual assault.

“I did not consent to what happened in that hotel room,” she said.

After nearly four days on the witness stand, including cross examinations from all three defence lawyers, the woman finished testifying on Monday.

Another officer who was out partying that night also testified. He said at one point the complainant turned to him and said she was “so drunk.”

He said he didn’t see any flirting or touching at the strip club the group went to but admitted he didn’t follow much of the conversation due to bar’s many “distractions.”

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

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