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‘Friendly at best’: Phillip Levac testifies, describes professional relationship with teen

Click to play video 'Phillip Levac, accused, takes stand in sexual assault trial' Phillip Levac, accused, takes stand in sexual assault trial
WATCH: The 32-year-old charged with two counts of sexual assault against a 14-year-old girl took the stand. – Dec 20, 2019

Testimony in the two-week trial for Phillip Levac came to a close Friday, with the accused taking the stand at the Court of Queen’s Bench.

Levac, 32, is charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual interference against a 14-year-old girl, stemming from incidents in April 2018.

Levac has a long criminal record, dating back to 2002, which includes three previous sexual assaults among other crimes. Levac was released from prison in September 2017. At that time, he was deemed a high risk to re-offend.

READ MORE: DNA matching victim’s found on Phillip Levac’s bedding: forensic expert

The teen accuser cannot be named under a publication ban.

Both Levac and the teen testified that the two met in the weight room at the Lawson Aquatic Centre.

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Levac said the girl originally approached him to help her move a weight bench. After a few conversations, he said the teen asked him to help her train.

Levac, who had aspirations of becoming a certified personal trainer, testified he had two other clients at the time. He said he didn’t see a problem with training the teen, describing their trainer-client relationship as “friendly at best.”

READ MORE: Regina court hears accused’s side in sex assault trial, teenage victim cross examined

As part of his conditions, Levac notified his probation officer about his professional relationship with the teen, but he never mentioned the girl’s age.

Levac said the pair had a “verbal agreement” for her to pay him $250 for 12 training sessions, the same amount he charged his other clients. He said he never got permission from a parent or guardian to train the minor.

Levac denied having sex with the girl. He said she was only inside his house once to use the bathroom, but never went into his bedroom.

Yesterday, a forensic DNA specialist testified that DNA matching the teen’s was found in nine different spots on Levac’s bedding.

READ MORE: Teenage victim testifies in alleged sexual assault case in Regina

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The accused said he often used towels at the gym to wipe off machines that the teen was using. After getting home from the gym, he said he would throw those towels and his clothes onto his bed.

While the DNA specialist said he “can’t eliminate that as a possibility,” that’s not the result he would expect from the evidence.

Cross Examination

Kelly Kaip, the crown prosecutor, focuses on Levac’s phone records during the cross examination.

In the span of five days leading up to the alleged sexual assaults, records show 430 texts were sent between Levac and the teen.

Levac said they were “innocent” texts and denied sending any sexual photos or videos.

However, Levac said not all of the texts were about training at the gym.

READ MORE: Regina police charge man at high risk to reoffend with sexual assault

“Some of them were personal problems that she would explain to me,” Levac said.

Kaip pointed out dozens of those texts were sent around midnight or later.

She asked Levac if he thought it was “odd” for a 31-year-old professional to be texting a 14-year-old client “that many times after midnight.”

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Levac said he “didn’t want to be rude,” which is why he replied to the texts.

Court also heard that Levac took more than 20 minutes to answer his door the day police came to arrest him.

READ MORE: Regina police investigating after man convicted of sex assault appears on dating app

According to phone records, in that time he searched on the internet and called his mom.

Kaip argued Levac was only training the teen to “groom her” for sex.

Kaip questioned the legitimacy of Levac’s other clients, considering the defence didn’t call any other witnesses.

Closing arguments are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Feb. 21.

The judge cannot consider Levac’s criminal past in his decision.