A Red Deer Mountie on trial denies he asked a woman whether her breasts were real while he was investigating a domestic dispute in 2016.
His alleged victim testified on Tuesday that Const. Jason Tress asked her about her breasts and told her she had a nice body while the two were alone in a bedroom behind a closed door in a Red Deer apartment.
Tress was there to interview her about a violent altercation in the early hours of May 1, 2016, that ended with her friend’s boyfriend being hauled off to jail.
The boyfriend turned violent, attacking both she and her friend after a night where the three and others had been bar hopping and drinking heavily.
Tress has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault while carrying a weapon and breach of trust. His trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench began Monday.
His alleged victim testified that following questions about her breasts and the comment about her body, he asked if she wanted to leave the bedroom. Her name is subject to a publication ban.
“He asked if I was sure,” she testified. “I said, ‘yes, I’m sure.’”
He didn’t open the door right away, but did after 20 or 40 seconds, and they left the bedroom.
Crown prosecutor Photini Papadatou asked whether Tress touched her, tried to touch her or asked if he could touch her.
“No,” she replied to each question.
Photini asked what her reaction was to what had just happened.
“I didn’t really react at all, right then and there. I was more stunned than anything.”
Defence lawyer Robb Beeman asked her if she had told her best friend that Tress had touched her breast — an incident the woman recounted to Alberta Serious Incident Response Team investigators.
“No, I did not,” she said, agreeing with him it did not happen.
The best friend of the alleged victim was in the apartment that night, along with the boyfriend, who was arrested. She testified the woman later talked to her about Tress.
“From what I recall, she told me Mr. Tress was flirting with her,” she said.
Tress took the stand Tuesday afternoon and denied he said anything inappropriate to the woman.
His lawyer asked him if he commented on the woman’s breasts, or on her body, or said he wanted to stay in the room with her.
“Absolutely not,” Tress answered to each question.
“I don’t recall any conversation like that whatsoever.”
Before Tress testified, his lawyer asked Justice David Gates for a directed verdict. It is a request to dismiss the case on the grounds that the Crown prosecutor has not proven their case and no jury acting reasonably would find the accused guilty.
Gates ruled that enough evidence was presented that a conviction was possible and the trial continued.