Ruling expected on admissibility of police evidence at sex assault trial

A judge is expected to rule today on whether certain evidence collected by police investigating an violent sexual assault can be admitted in the accused man’s trial.

A judge is expected to rule today on whether certain evidence collected by police investigating an violent sexual assault can be admitted in the accused man’s trial.

Police allege that a Red Deer prostitute was held against her will and badly beaten on June 4, 2012, by a man who wanted to live out a rape fantasy. The woman’s name is withheld under Canadian law banning publication of the identity of victims of sexual assault.

Nathan Michael Desharnais, 25, is on trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench before Edmonton-based Justice Adam Germain on charges of aggravated sex assault, forcible confinement and choking with intent to overcome resistance.

Police were called by staff at Lacombe Hospital after the woman’s daughter brought her in for medical treatment.

During cross-examination on Tuesday, the alleged victim became combative with defence counsel Arnold Piragoff.

He questioned her about her criminal record and whether she had ever accepted drugs for sex.

She said her only criminal record is for impaired driving and she had never been convicted of any other offences.

She confirmed that, after the beating, she drove Desharnais to a bank so he could get money to pay her but he was unable to get the cash. She testified that she was happy to get away from him and had not decided at that point whether to call police.

“The man tried to kill me. I didn’t care if I got paid or not. I was just happy to be alive, thank you very much.”

She confirmed for Piragoff that she made a statement to police, but had never read it and doesn’t remember its contents.

“I don’t need to remember the horse—t that happened,” she said. “I do recall that I gave a statement to police. I said the truth, I know that.”

The trial then moved into a voir dire, or trial within a trial, to examine police evidence, including an account of the arrest and audio recordings taken afterward.

Germain is to decide if any of the evidence is to be excluded from the trial proper, including allegations of confessions Desharnais made during the course of the investigation.

Desharnais has been in custody since his arrest on June 5, 2012.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer teacher engages students with “cool” science experiments

On Thursday, he made fire dance to the beat of the music

Province purchases land for new Red Deer courthouse

Construction to begin in the fall of 2019

Parking costs in Red Deer are going up — so are parking tickets

City council raises parking rates by 25 per cent starting July 1

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month