Judge reserves decision until April in Matthew Percy’s sexual assault trial

Matthew Percy is led out of court on Aug. 17, 2018.
Matthew Percy is led out of court on Aug. 17, 2018. File / Global News

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

The sexual assault trial of Matthew Albert Percy came to an end on Friday with the judge reserving his decision until a later date.

The former Saint Mary’s University groundskeeper is accused of sexually assaulting a then-19-year-old woman at a Dalhousie University residence on Dec. 6, 2014.

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.

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

READ MORE: Defence, Crown present closing arguments at sexual assault trial of Matthew Percy

Last week, she testified to meeting Percy after partying at Cheers, a bar that existed at the time in The Dome, a multi-level nightclub in downtown Halifax.

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She said Percy invited her to get poutine at a nearby takeout 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.

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.

The complainant testified that she “clearly told Percy no” as he violently initiated anal sex.

It’s contrasted with the videotaped police interview with Percy, recorded only days after the incident.

Complainant takes the stand at sexual assault trial of former SMU groundskeeper
Complainant takes the stand at sexual assault trial of former SMU groundskeeper

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.

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

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 in the video.

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

Friday saw Crown attorney Rick Woodburn conclude his closing arguments in front of Judge Joshua Arnold.

He said that the clear “no” from the complainant during the incident of anal sex should have ended the sexual relationship that night. Instead, Percy proceeded to have anal sex with her, Woodburn said.

“This was about Matthew Percy, not the wishes [of the complainant],” said Woodburn, who pointed to Percy’s police statement as validating that he heard a no when he initially inquired about anal sex. 
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The Crown attorney said it was only Percy that says he heard a “yes” before initiating anal sex and that there was no indication of any preparation for anal sex such as the use of lubricant.

“Whatever made him think that he could continue to beg until he received [anal sex]… that should stop things right there,” said Woodburn. 
SMU groundskeeper sentenced for sexually assaulting woman in dorm room
SMU groundskeeper sentenced for sexually assaulting woman in dorm room

Throughout Woodburn’s closing arguments, Percy shook his head as he sat at the defence table.

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Percy’s case before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court is his third sexual assault trial. The first two incidents occurred in September 2017 and involved Saint Mary’s University students.

The former groundskeeper was found guilty of sexual assault and voyeurism in one trial but was acquitted on charges of sexual assault, choking to overcome resistance and voyeurism in the other.

Percy has already served a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence. He has been denied bail while awaiting trial on this charge and another case scheduled for trial this year.

The trial will reconvene on April 15 at Nova Scotia Supreme Court where Arnold will deliver his decision.