Client charged with aggravated sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, choking, and uttering threats in relation to his girlfriend. Complainant testified that client punched her in the face, causing her eye to swell shut, pushed her down, choked her until she was close to unconsciousness, and then assaulted her with his fist in the vagina and rectum. Photos of a bruised eye and a swollen elbow were taken by the police when she complained to them a number of days after alleged offences. Other than describing the assault, evidence of the complainant was vague, confusing, and in contradiction to other pieces of reliable evidence. When questioned as to alcohol consumption, complainant testified she had a couple drinks at night to help her sleep. Complainant’s physician testified to seeing complainant who went to him 10 days after alleged incident, saying she had been assaulted by boyfriend. Bruising noted to eye, swelling on elbow, and blood on the glove after rectal exam. When questioned about the blood, the doctor testified there can be numerous causes for blood in the stool. Respecting his observations of complainant’s drinking doctor testified that complainant in last month and a half self reported heavy drinking and that he had diagnosed her with alcoholism some time ago and recommended detox and rehab. Doctor noted that the complainant was intoxicated when she came in for visit in which assault was reported. Client did not testify.
Held: Client found not guilty of all charges.
Trial judge had a significant doubt with respect to complainant’s allegations based on reliable evidence of heavy alcohol consumption, vague and contradictory testimony, and unusual demeanour of complainant when testifying, concluding that she was “not in good shape”.