Credibility was the key factor in a judge’s decision on Thursday to convict a 24-year-old man of breaking into a sleeping woman’s house and sexually assaulting her.
Dustin Pierre Gladue of Red Deer will be sentenced later this summer following preparation of a pre-sentence report.
He was convicted in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench of sexual assault with a weapon, breaking into a residence to commit an offence, assault with a weapon and uttering a threat.
Justice Kirk Sisson delivered the lengthy decision following a four-day trial, which concluded on Tuesday.
“This case turns on credibility,” Sisson wrote.
“I do not find that the accused’s evidence, in the context of the evidence as a whole, raises doubt as to his guilt.
“I find that even though no individual piece of evidence conclusively proves Mr. Gladue is the offender, the cumulative effect of all the evidence, even when taking into account the discrepancies that exist, is that Mr. Gladue is guilty of the offences charged beyond all reasonable doubt.”
Sisson said Gladue, who testified, wasn’t able to establish times of any accuracy.
Gladue showed no emotion when the decision was announced.
Gladue denied during testimony that he assaulted the woman or that he broke into her residence.
The victim picked Gladue out of a 10-person photo lineup presented to her about two hours after the incident, which occurred at a condominium complex on April 12, 2008.
The woman, in her late 40s, testified that a loud noise at her door woke her at about 2:10 a.m. but she figured it was her son coming home.
However, she saw the accused at the foot of her bed holding what she thought was a knife above his head. The weapon turned out to be a sharp stick.
“He said, ‘Get up I’m going to stab you,’ ” she testified.
She said they went outside, where the accused dropped his pants and demanded sex.
The woman said she managed to get a couple of good looks at the man’s face.
Sisson said he found the victim credible and reliable.
The judge said Gladue’s testimony raised questions about his reliability.
“His testimony with respect to his actions that night does not line up with the evidence of some of the police witnesses,” Sisson ruled.
“More troubling is evidence that contradicts the accused’s story such as it is unlikely he travelled the paths he said he did or was in locations at the time he said he was.”
Gladue lived in the same complex as the victim.
A pre-sentence report will be prepared by a probation officer examining several factors in Gladue’s life.
Sisson said the fact that Gladue is an aboriginal will have a bearing on the sentence.
Gladue has been in custody since the incident.