CALGARY — The Crown says a man who was allegedly tortured by his former roommate reacted to the almost daily beatings like an abused pet or battered spouse and couldn’t flee the relationship.
“His personality combined with the abuse conditioned him to try and make the accused happy, not to make any mistakes and not to get beat again,” Crown lawyer Jayme Williams told Queen’s Bench Justice Sheilah Martin.
“It explains what can occur with the alleged complainant who was compelled to return,” said Williams, who added the alleged victim was conditioned to do so by daily and physical abuse.
“He might as well have been locked in his residence.”
Williams made the arguments as Dustin Paxton’s trial moved toward its final phase Tuesday. The Crown was seeking to have its final witness, Dr. Kris Mohandie, approved to testify as an expert on human captivity.
Paxton, 31, is charged with aggravated assault, sexual assault and forcible confinement in the abuse and torture of a former roommate and business partner. The complainant was starving and had severe physical injuries when he was dropped off at a Regina hospital in April 2010.
He told court that he had been beaten on an almost daily basis, was denied food and had suffered severe brain damage as a result.
Defence lawyer Jim Lutz charged last week that the 28-year-old, who spent three days on the witness stand, could have left at any time and had made up many of the accusations levelled at Paxton.
The Crown is counting on Mohandie to dispute that.
Mohandie is an American forensic psychologist who worked on the O.J. Simpson case and helped prosecute a man accused of stalking Steven Spielberg. He is said to be an expert on the assessment and management of violent behaviour as well as on cases of people being taken captive.
Mohandie has conducted extensive interviews with notorious stalkers, hostage-takers and mass murderers and has written extensively about the experiences of hostages.
Martin, who is hearing the case without a jury, eventually agreed to hear Mohandie’s testimony. The judge rejected arguments from defence lawyer Andrea Serink that Mohandie’s work on human captivity is “limited, dated and derivative.”
The doctor is to take the stand Wednesday.