A sexual assault trial is underway for a Saskatoon man from an incident dating back to 2004; the victim came forward to police after learning of multiple other assault allegations spanning more than a decade.
Mark Donlevy is accused of raping a Saskatoon woman in the summer of 2004. The charge is unrelated to the allegations that Donlevy sexually assaulted 11 other women during massage therapy appointments between 2003 and 2016. It was only after the accusations surfaced in 2016 that the woman decided to come forward.
Wednesday’s trial is for the one count of sexual assault, and it’s expected he’ll stand to the other charges at a later date; he has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The now 42-year-old woman testified that she couldn’t believe she was the only victim; her identity is protected under a publication ban.
Court heard on Wednesday that the woman and Donlevy met on a dating site, and met in person only one time when they got together for coffee in the summer of 2004. She told the court she was 28 at the time and that Donlevy was in his mid-30s.
She testified that Donlevy claimed to be a firefighter and knew karate; she said Donlevy easily gained her trust.
The two would go mini-golfing, to a drive-in movie and then to a club to go dancing. The woman said she was clear she was only looking for friendship and wasn’t interested in sex. She told the court she drank vodka at the club, and began to feel intoxicated, tired and nauseous and told Donlevy she wanted to go back to his house.
The woman told the court that once they got to Donlevy’s house, she asked for a glass of water and tried to go to sleep on a loveseat, but Donlevy insisted she’d be more comfortable in the bedroom. It was there that she testified that Donlevy forced her to perform oral sex and vaginal intercourse. She told the court she was crying and was scared, repeatedly telling Donlevy she didn’t “want this.”
“God help me,” she said in court.
The woman testified that she didn’t have enough money for a cab ride home, so she asked Donlevy to drive her. She said he repeatedly called her a tease and a prude, and that nobody would believe her.
“Just because you’re going to someone’s house, it doesn’t mean you’re giving consent,” she said.
The woman told the court the sun was coming up when she got home, and that she showered and cried herself to sleep.
She said she went to a doctor a couple of weeks after the alleged incident, and told the doctor she had been raped. But besides telling a couple of friends years later, she remained relatively quiet about the incident until allegations against Donlevy surfaced on local news outlets.
She told the court that she immediately went to the sexual assault centre and has been in counselling since; she said she is also on medication for anxiety and PTSD.
In cross-examination, the defence questioned how she could remember the incident so clearly after 14 years, claiming some details in Wednesday’s testimony differentiated from her statements to police and the preliminary hearing.
She told the court the memories have been coming back since December 2016, as she repeatedly replays the incident in her head. She says she has been reliving the trauma for 14 years.
The trial is expected to wrap up on Thursday and a decision is expected later this month.