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Cooney sexual assault trial set to continue in May

Joseph Cooney, 65, is being charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl two years ago.
Joseph Cooney, 65, is being charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl two years ago. - Evan Careen

Alleged victim had difficulty testifying in Happy Valley-Goose Bay courtroom

A 65-year-old Happy Valley-Goose Bay man on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting and threatening a 14-year-old girl two years ago had his trial set over to May 3.

The trial of Joseph Cooney, who is charged with sexual interference, uttering threats, sexual assault and forcible confinement, was set to end Jan. 10 but the technical issues and testimony of the alleged victim took longer than expected and required more time.

The young girl, now 16, had difficulty testifying and broke down on the stand a number of times.

Ed Montague, Cooney’s lawyer, questioned her recollection of events and potential gaps in her story. He asked her why she got in the car with Cooney if she did not know him and challenged that the alleged victim had not met Cooney before. The defense does have two witnesses left to call at the next court date.

The alleged victim said earlier in her testimony that on June 2, 2017 she was walking home just before 11 p.m. when Cooney approached her in a vehicle and offered her a ride home.

She said he then took her to his house and sexually assaulted her. She alleged he said he would kill her if she told anyone.

She said she then went home and showered, telling her family the next day.

The case is scheduled to return to court on May 3 for the remaining witnesses.


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