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Labrador man found guilty of sexual assault

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A Labrador man was recently found guilty of sexual assault for having anal intercourse with a woman without her consent.

According to a written decision by the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, the man had testified he was too drunk to remember the 2017 incident, but denied that it happened.

Justice Frances Knickle said she found this to be “irreconcilable and constitute(s) a major inconsistency.”

The man and woman had a casual sexual relationship prior to the assault, and had consensual vaginal sex earlier that same night.

The woman, who has not been named to protect her identity, told police and the court that after they had intercourse the man had forcibly inserted his penis into her anus, and she told him to stop. He did at first, she said, but then he did it again before she managed to move away from him.

Knickle said the woman, despite some inconsistencies between her statement to police and her testimony on the stand, was a credible and forthright witness.

“The complainant has been consistent that her complaint is not that the two had vaginal intercourse, but that the accused, despite her protestations, forced anal sex with her,” Knickle wrote. “She has never departed from this accusation.”

The account of the man, Knickle said, was “illogical, internally inconsistent and difficult to follow.”

She pointed to the inherent contradiction between his claim of having no memory of the event, but disputing specific parts a number of times, as a factor in her ruling.

Knickle said she took no issue that the man may not remember details because of the passage of time, which the woman also said in her testimony, but the lack of recall the man claimed went deeper than being confused about minor details.

“His lack of recall is of the entire night in question,” she said. “This goes to the heart of his assertion that he did not force anal sex with the complainant, and it begs the question: how does he know these details if he does not recall what happened?”

Knickle wrote she was circumspect that the man has no recall of the incident and he repeatedly stated that the event was “so long ago,” but also stated that he “remembered quite clearly” his arrest by the police, which occurred only a couple of days after the sexual assault.

The man was found not guilty of a charge of assault relating to a different incident with the woman, when she alleged her had choked her, she but could not recall the date or much detail about the incident.

The man will be sentenced at a future date for the sexual assault conviction.

Evan Careen is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Labrador for SaltWire Network.

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