Schalk on trial for alleged sexual assault

A local pastor and operator of several affordable housing developments was on trial in Red Deer provincial court on Thursday for allegedly sexually assaulting a female employee.

A local pastor and operator of several affordable housing developments was on trial in Red Deer provincial court on Thursday for allegedly sexually assaulting a female employee.

Stanley Richard Schalk, 57, of Red Deer County, is charged with one count of sexual assault.

On Thursday, the 43-year-old complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban for victims, told the court that Schalk gave her a job last June after they talked and he found out about her financial difficulties.

She said one day in June, Schalk grabbed her buttocks while hugging her. She grabbed his hand and pulled it away.

“It was really insulting. It was really wrong. It goes beyond a hug,” she told the court.

She said later that month he drove her to a farmer’s field for a picnic where he pushed her down and got on top of her. He later put his hand in her bra. She pushed him away both times and yelled and swore at him.

“It was the worst thing ever,” she said.

“There was no one to help me there. It was just a field. I was just trapped there.”

He eventually drove her back to work. She said she continued to work for Schalk because she needed the job and eventually contacted the RCMP at the end of September.

Defence lawyer Lorne Goddard wanted to know why she didn’t know the dates of the assaults, except that they occurred between June 15 and June 30.

“I remember all the details except the dates,” she said.

Goddard asked her why she got in his client’s truck for the picnic after the first incident during the hug, especially when she didn’t know where they were going, and why she later agreed to go for a motorcycle ride with him.

She said she didn’t recall when they were on his motorcycle.

Goddard asked her why she talked to his client on the phone while he was on vacation with his wife and why she texted with him.

She said she still worked for him and was returning his calls.

Goddard said that she told another employee that if Schalk ever got rid of her, she would take him down. She said she didn’t recall saying that.

She agreed that Schalk told her on Sept. 25 that there was no more work for her.

She said she still drives the car that Schalk bought her while she worked for him. At the time she was going to work out a repayment plan for the $13,000 vehicle.

Schalk is the pastor of Potter’s Hand Ministries and co-owner of Potter’s Hands Developments that operates River Valley Apartments, a townhouse development in Riverside Meadows, apartments above Potter’s Hands soup kitchen, and The Buffalo apartments.

The trial continues on Aug. 22.