PETERBOROUGH, Ont. — A girl who was 12 when she was allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a man in his 30s said Tuesday she doesn’t remember anything about that night and countered testimony from friends that she was drunk.
The girl told court the last thing she remembers before “waking up in the hospital” some 75 kilometres away in Oshawa, Ont., was being at a friend’s house.
“We just hung out for a bit and decided to go to a friend’s birthday party,” said the girl, now 13, who cannot be named.
Two of her friends have testified the alleged victim was extremely intoxicated, saying the three of them shared a 26-ounce bottle of rum before running into the alleged attacker in the early hours of Aug. 6, 2008 in this eastern Ontario city.
The victim told the court she doesn’t remember drinking or doing drugs, and said she doesn’t drink.
“I’m 13,” she replied when confronted by the defence.
The girl, who was supposed to spend the night with her grandmother, was found behind a high school just east of Oshawa after police responded to reports of screaming.
Stanley Tippett was arrested several hours later.
Tippett, 33, has pleaded not guilty to seven charges, including sexual assault and kidnapping.
On Tuesday, the girl was calm and direct during her testimony, but she consistently averted her eyes from the prisoner’s box, where Tippett sat.
The girl’s mother said her daughter has changed since the alleged attack and refuses to speak about that night.
“She’s not the same little girl,” she said outside court, breaking down in tears.
The mother, who also cannot be named, said it’s hard not knowing what’s happening in the case and running into the accused’s family around town.
“We’ll be in Wal-Mart and his family will be in there and I’ll get somebody who’s with me to take my daughter out so she doesn’t have to see them,” she said.
She, like all other potential witnesses, is being excluded from the courtroom as the judge-alone trial hears testimony.
One of the girls who was with the alleged victim testified Tuesday that she had been trying to lift her off the street after a night of drinking when she ran into Tippett, who pulled over in a red van and offered to help — a fact that Tippett’s lawyer doesn’t dispute.
The friend said she was worried the police would show up and catch them drinking, so she and Tippett put the victim in his van, expecting a ride.
“I do remember saying she was 12 years old and needed to get home,” the friend, who is now 17, testified.
“He had a family van … I had no reason to believe she wouldn’t be safe. The only thing that made me kind of nervous was … when he said I should go home.”