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Closing arguments heard in sexual assault trial

The scales of justice
The scales of justice - Graphic File

The female complainant in a sexual assault trial was consistent in the way she responded to – and testified about – the alleged rape, the Crown contends.

Crown attorney Lisa Goulden, in her closing arguments Tuesday, argued the complainant “has been consistent throughout that she was sexually assaulted.’’

Goulden and defence lawyer Thane MacEachern gave their summations Tuesday in the trial of Ugochukwu Godwill Egwuekwe, 23, who is charged with sexually assaulting the complainant in his Charlottetown apartment on June 28.

Goulden told the court following the incident the complainant told her mother, friends and the police that she was sexually assaulted.

She went to the hospital to have a sexual assault examination, which recovered semen that was deemed a match with a DNA sample taken from Egwuekwe.

The complainant, Goulden added, made clear in her testimony that she only wanted to smoke marijuana with Egwuekwe and not to have sex with him.

The woman testified in court that she had sent Egwuekwe a text to that effect.

However, it took considerable prodding by the judge and Goulden to finally get the complainant to detail the alleged sexual assault in court during the second day of the trial, which began last week.

In her testimony, the woman said Egwuekwe, against her repeated protestations, removed her clothes and proceeded to have sexual intercourse with her.

The woman testified that the alleged rape exacerbated her already existing anxiety and depression, resulting in five hospital stays and an attempt to overdose on medication in December.

“This is a girl that has had a lot of issues with emotional, psychological problems which worsened following the incident,’’ Goulden told the court in her closing arguments.

Goulden also argued that Egwuekwe lacked credibility.

The accused testified that he lied to police when he said he did not have sex with the complainant, because he was afraid, and because his lawyer told him not to say anything about what happened in his room.

Goulden, though, contends Egwuekwe lied about not having sex with the complainant because he knew what he had done was wrong.

“He is deceptive when challenged with his wrongdoings,’’ she told the court.

MacEachern argued testimony from the complainant as well as from other Crown witnesses was inconsistent and left plenty of doubt as to whether she was sexually assaulted.

He suggested the complainant perhaps showed little emotion when describing the alleged rape because she was not being truthful.

He added the complainant, who testified to being a virgin before the alleged sexual assault, never indicated that she experienced any pain or injury during what she described as 20 to 30 minutes of being forced into sexual intercourse against her wishes.

MacEachern added no evidence was presented during the trial of abrasions or vaginal tears which he argued seems unusual in the case of a virgin being sexually assaulted.

“I would ask the court to take a look at that long and hard,’’ he said.

Provincial court Judge John Douglas said he would render his verdict on April 6.

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