A Charlottetown resident who had sex with a 19-year-old woman without her consent was found guilty of sexual assault on Monday.
Provincial Court Judge John Douglas said William Nlondog Lipem, 25, was reckless for assuming consent was present even though he didn’t have verbal consent from the victim prior to engaging in sexual activity.
Douglas said there was a lack of subjective consent because of factors such as the victim not remembering events leading up to the sexual activity, the amount of alcohol she consumed, visible signs of impairment and that she passed out or blacked out as well as her emotional response immediately after the sexual activity.
Lipem was found guilty after a Nov. 20 trial.
Lipem testified at the trial, as did the victim, her mother and a friend of both the accused and the complainant.
Court heard that on Feb. 22, the female victim, then 19, and the friend went to Lipem’s home as they had six or seven times before to drink alcohol, “hang out,” and listen to music. On that night, the victim was also helping Lipem’s friend with homework. Lipem and the victim were a six or seven out of 10 in terms of their impairment between 11:30 p.m. and midnight.
Douglas recalled the victim’s testimony – that she didn’t remember going to Lipem’s bed, nor did she remember taking his hand to invite sexual touching.
She recalled waking up to find Lipem on top of her, sexually assaulting her. She also recalled Lipem performing oral sex on her at one point. She became emotional, left the residence and drove herself home, arriving at her mother’s home at around 3 a.m. They drove to the hospital but stopped along the way to confront Lipem at his residence.
Douglas also noted that, based on the testimony, the victim had no romantic interest in Lipem and that she didn’t intend to stay over that night.
Douglas said Lipem’s account of the events was “pretty much the same” as the victim and the friend.
Lipem testified that he went into the bedroom to check on the victim. She asked him to lie next to her, and she placed his hand between her legs, which “suggested to him that she wanted sexual activity,” said Douglas.
Lipem also testified he wasn’t sure if the victim was asleep or awake, but he assumed she was awake. Based on her body language from the touching, he performed oral sex on her for two or three minutes until she became emotional and told him to stop, which he did.
Lipem was found not guilty on a second charge of breaching a no-contact order with the victim on June 17. Lipem will be back in Charlottetown provincial court on Feb. 12 for sentencing.