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Video shows former Saint Mary’s groundskeeper leaving residence after alleged sexual assault

Surveillance video released by Nova Scotia Supreme Court shows Matthew Percy leaving the residence where he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman on Dec. 6, 2014. Nova Scotia Supreme Court

Warning: This story contains details that may disturb some readers. Discretion is advised. 

A video introduced as evidence in Nova Scotia Supreme Court appears to show former Saint Mary’s University groundskeeper Matthew Albert Percy leaving the residence where he allegedly sexually assaulted a student in 2014.

Matthew Albert Percy is standing trial by judge alone for the alleged assault, which occurred at a Dalhousie residence building on Dec. 6, 2014.

He has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault causing bodily harm.

READ MORE: Complainant cross-examined as sexual assault trial of former SMU groundskeeper continues

Thursday marked the third day of his trial, which previously heard from the complainant who testified that she “clearly told Percy no” as he violently sexually assaulted her.

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The woman’s identity is protected under a publication ban.

The assault is alleged to have occurred at Dalhousie University’s LeMarchant Place after a night of drinking in downtown Halifax.

Surveillance video of Percy

During Tuesday’s testimony, the complainant testified that she met Percy after partying at Cheers. She said Percy invited her to get poutine at a nearby take-out restaurant, before grabbing a cab to her Dalhousie residence.

Surveillance video of the pair entering the residence and Percy leaving the next morning was presented in court on Tuesday. Media were given access to the video of Percy departing on Thursday.

In the video, Percy is wearing a brown leather jacket and blue jeans, and holding what appears to be a take-out container. The time stamp on the video is Dec. 6, 2014 at 7:55 a.m.

Percy can be seen taking a bite of the contents of the container while waiting for the elevator.

Another video released by the court shows the same man exiting the residence at 8:01 a.m.

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Police officers, nurse take the stand  

On Thursday, the court heard from two Halifax Regional Police officers who were on patrol the night the alleged sexual assault was reported.

Constables Colin Graves and Geoff McNamara testified that they responded to police headquarters on Dec. 8, 2014 at around 6:30 p.m. after the complainant and her two friends reported the alleged sexual assault.

Graves testified that he took an initial report from the complainant in one of the department’s quiet rooms, where there is no video surveillance. Graves said his job was to take an initial report from the woman, but was not trained to take full statements from sexual assault victims.

Click to play video: 'Complainant takes the stand at sexual assault trial of former SMU groundskeeper' Complainant takes the stand at sexual assault trial of former SMU groundskeeper
Complainant takes the stand at sexual assault trial of former SMU groundskeeper – Feb 18, 2020

Graves said as the complainant gave her statement, she was “hunched over” and “closed off.” He added that she was “emotionally upset,” crying off and on during the hour-long discussion.

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McNamara’s testimony was similar, noting the woman started crying “immediately when she started telling her story.”

Both Graves and McNamara individually testified that the woman was transported to hospital, and they then secured the residence building where the incident occurred.

Graves stated they later returned to the hospital shortly after midnight to pick up the complainant and her friends.

During cross-examination, Percy’s defence attorney Peter Planetta highlighted that neither Graves nor McNamara had met the complainant prior to that evening, so they wouldn’t have a “baseline demeanor” for her.

Graves agreed, but again noted she seemed “emotionally upset,” as she was crying at times. McNamara, too, said he didn’t know how talkative she was normally.

The afternoon’s testimony heard from Corinne Thompson, who was a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) in 2014 when she met the complainant.

READ MORE: ‘Consent was never given’: complainant testifies at sexual assault trial of former SMU groundskeeper

Thompson testified the complainant had a visible bite on her neck that left bruising, as well as additional bruisings and discolouration to several other areas of her lower body.

The nurse added that the complainant was crying during the examination, but she did not include that in her report.

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The flow of testimony was briefly delayed as counsel and Justice Josh Arnold discussed the line of questioning of McNamara and how it relates to the questions the defence already posed to the complainant.

Thomson is expected to face cross-examination on Friday. Another SANE nurse who examined the complainant is also expected to testify.

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