Crown wants testimony of absent witness to be allowed in sex assault trial

Rosie Mullaley
Published on March 28, 2014
Terry Hunt was in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s Thursday for the start of his trial on charges of sexual assault, assault and unlawful confinement against his girlfriend. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

A woman who said her boyfriend sexually assaulted her is refusing to participate in the man’s trial.

But that’s not stopping the Crown from trying to have her testimony heard.

When the trial of  50-year-old Terry Hunt got underway Thursday at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s, prosecutor Jeff Summers told the judge he has been unable to locate the complainant.

“We’ve had no contact with her since last spring, since she testified at the preliminary inquiry,” Summers told Justice Robert Hall.

“She’s no longer wishing to continue with the process.”

As a result, he filed an application to have the woman’s testimony from the preliminary inquiry entered as evidence in the trial. Summers and defence lawyer Tony St. George began arguing the issue in the afternoon.

Hunt — who is not in custody — faces charges of sexual assault, assault and forcible confinement.

He was charged as a result of an incident that was said to have happened on June 17, 2012.

A police officer testified that when the woman came to RNC headquarters to report that she had been assaulted by her boyfriend. The officer said one side of the woman’s face was red. She said the woman was also wearing clothes that were not hers since she left the house wearing a towel.

The trial is expected to last three days.

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