March 12, 2018 9:18 am

Verdict expected today in case of sailor accused of sexual assault

FILE - Accused Master Seaman Daniel Cooper, right, arrives for his standing court martial case.

The Canadian Press/Ted Pritchard

A military judge is expected to render a decision today in the case of a Halifax sailor accused of sexually assaulting a subordinate.

Master Seaman Daniel Cooper has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and ill treatment of a subordinate in relation to an alleged incident aboard HMCS Athabaskan while the navy destroyer was visiting Spain in 2015.

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READ MORE: Halifax-based sailor tells court martial he woke up to superior sexually assaulting him

Cooper took the stand in his own defence at his court martial last week and testified that the sexual activity was consensual, but the alleged victim testified he awoke to the naval communicator at Canadian Forces Base Halifax performing oral sex on him.

Lawyers for the prosecution and defence gave closing arguments in Halifax military court on Saturday.

READ MORE: Halifax sailor testifies at court martial sex on HMCS Athabaskan was consensual

Both sides agreed that Cooper’s version of what took place in the sailors’ sleeping quarters on the night in question cannot be reconciled with the alleged victim’s testimony, but clashed over which account was more credible.

Military Judge Cmdr. Sandra Sukstorf is expected to reach a verdict by Monday afternoon.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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