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Crown rests case in Matthew Percy sexual assault trial

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
WATCH (Feb. 18, 2020): The trial of a former Saint Mary’s University groundskeeper accused of sexually assaulting a Dalhousie University student in December 2014 began on Tuesday. Alexander Quon was in court and has more – Feb 18, 2020

Warning: This article contains graphic content. Discretion is advised.

The Crown rested its case against Matthew Albert Percy on Monday.

The former Saint Mary’s University groundskeeper accused of sexually assaulting a woman at Dalhousie University residence on Dec. 6, 2014, sat quietly as court broke for the day.

Percy has pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault causing bodily harm and the trial is being heard by judge alone in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

READ MORE: Matthew Percy describes alleged Saint Mary’s University sexual assault in police interview

The complainant’s identity is protected by a publication ban.

Monday saw Crown attorney Rick Woodburn and Defence lawyer Peter Planetta present arguments about whether questions put to the complainant during redirect were permissible.

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A decision from judge Joshua M. Arnold on whether the answers from the complainant will be considered as evidence in the judge’s decision will be handed down on Tuesday.

Planetta will also have the opportunity to present his version of events when court resumes. He could also choose to not call any witnesses and let the Crown’s arguments stand on their own.

Complainant’s testimony

The complainant testified last week that she was 19 when she met Percy after partying at Cheers, a bar that existed at the time in The Dome, a multi-level nightclub in downtown Halifax.

She said Percy invited her to get poutine at a nearby take-out restaurant, only for them to stop at the nearby Toothy Moose bar for a drink before getting the food.

The complainant testified that she did not remember the trip, but that the pair eventually ended up at her Dalhousie residence on LeMarchant Street.

Click to play video: 'SMU groundskeeper sentenced for sexually assaulting woman in dorm room' SMU groundskeeper sentenced for sexually assaulting woman in dorm room
SMU groundskeeper sentenced for sexually assaulting woman in dorm room – May 2, 2019

She has alleged that Percy assaulted her multiple times, in both her bedroom and the nearby washroom, leaving her with bite marks on her neck and painful bruises on her rear that left her unable to sit down for days.

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The complainant testified that she “clearly told Percy no” as he violently sexually assaulted her.

But under cross-examination, defence attorney Peter Planetta sought to portray the gaps in the complainant’s memory — which she said are the result of intoxication that night and the six years that have passed since the incident — as periods in which she could’ve consented to the incidents in question.

Police interview shares Percy’s version of events

On Friday, court saw a videotaped police interview with Percy, recorded days after the alleged assault.

Percy’s recorded statement diverges from the complainant on a few key events, in explanation of what happened that night.

He made no mention of going to the Toothy Moose in his statement and said that they began to take one another’s clothes off once they arrived at her dorm.

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

Percy alleged that the complainant said “take me, take me” to him at one point throughout the night — a statement that she strenuously objected to during cross-examination last week.

Percy portrayed the evening as passionate but rough sex between two consenting individuals.

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He admitted to not using a condom, but said that he noticed scratch marks and injuries on the complainant’s rear that he compared to having “slid on turf” before they moved to the washroom.

Percy said the injuries appeared a day old when he noticed them.

He said that he asked the complainant how she got them, to which she replied, “You did that to me.”

Click to play video: 'Former SMU groundskeeper found not guilty of sexual assault' Former SMU groundskeeper found not guilty of sexual assault
Former SMU groundskeeper found not guilty of sexual assault – Aug 17, 2018

It’s an allegation that lines-up with a conversation the complainant described in her testimony, but that she said occurred after painful, non-consenting anal sex in her washroom.

But Percy described the complainant as initially resistant to having anal sex before she ultimately said yes.

“I never meant to hurt her and I just wanted to have a good time and release some stress,” Percy said.

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

Percy was convicted in 2018 of sexually assaulting a woman on Saint Mary’s University campus while he was acquitted in a separate sex assault trial that same year.

The Crown did not call two friends of the complainant to testify before resting its case on Monday.

The witnesses — who have been subpoenaed by the court — are expected to remain available for the defence if they choose to call them.

The trial is set to resume on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. ET.

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