SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2010 ABCA 86, the Appeal Court dismissed Mr. C’s appeal of his convictions for unlawful confinement, overcoming resistance to commission of an offence, and sexual assault.
Mr. C had picked up a woman selling sexual services and drove her to a secluded area that was some distance from where he picked her up. They discussed what sexual acts he was going to pay her for. He wanted to pay her for oral sex and wanted to film the sexual encounter. She did not want it filmed as she was concerned he would put it on the internet. Mr. C told the woman he had no money and she tried to leave but Mr. C pulled her back into the vehicle and choked her close to the point of passing out. Out of fear she then performed the oral sex and Mr. C recorded it.
At one point the woman asked to take a break for a cigarette so she could get out of the car. Despite being naked she ran and hid in the bushes until Mr. C left. She found her dress but not her bag or shoes. She went to a nearby home and asked for help, claiming to have been at-tacked by someone with a gun. The owner of the home said she looked very frightened and she did not want to call the police or for anyone to find out that she had sold sexual services. She went to another person to ask for help. This person got his wife to drive her back to the city. The wife saw red marks on the woman’s neck and she was crying the whole ride.
After speaking to a counsellor two days later, she reported the incident to the police and provided them with a description of Mr. C, his vehicle, and its license plate number. A search of Mr. C’s home led to the discovery of a DVD of the woman performing oral sex.
At trial Mr. C had argued that the sex was consensual and that the woman was an unreliable witness because she was a sex worker, had additions, a criminal record and made inconsistent statements. He argued that she reported the assault as revenge for him not paying her for oral sex. He also claimed to look differently than the woman described. The trial judge did not believe these arguments and convicted Mr. C.
On appeal he argued the trial judge had not given a proper Vetrovec caution and did not give enough weight to the still photographs from the video that Mr. C claimed did not show marks on her neck.
The appeal judge did not find that the trial judge had made any mistakes and dismissed the appeal.
Criminal Offence(s): Sexual Assault