A woman who says she was sexually assaulted is lying about what actually happened, a defence lawyer suggested in cross-examination Tuesday, because she was embarrassed that she’d had rough but consensual sex with two men and was worried about how she would explain the bruising on her body to her boyfriend.
The complainant, who has testified for three days via video, rejected this suggestion, saying she delayed informing her boyfriend because she didn’t know how to tell him she’d been raped and didn’t know how he would react.
Enzo DeJesus Carrasco, 34, and Gavin MacMillan, 44, have both pleaded not guilty to charges of gang sexual assault, forcible confinement and drugging with intent to overpower.
DeJesus Carrasco has also pleaded not guilty to two additional charges of sexual assault.
All the charges are linked to the same complainant.
The jury has heard that at the time of the alleged sexual assaults on Dec. 14, 2016 and Dec. 15, 2016, MacMillan was the owner of the College Street Bar and DeJesus Carrasco was the manager.
At issue is whether the complainant consented to sexual acts and whether she had the capacity to consent. She has said she can only remember fragments of the night, during which the Crown alleges she was sexually assaulted over several hours while she was intoxicated and, at some points, in and out of consciousness. The complainant’s identity is covered by a publication ban.
On Tuesday afternoon, MacMillan’s lawyer Sean Robichaud asked the complainant about text messages sent between her and a friend on the morning of Dec. 15, 2016, after she had returned to the home where she was staying in Toronto.
In the texts, the complainant told her friend that she “got really drunk” and that the two men “took advantage of” her. She said she couldn’t remember what happened, but that the men wouldn’t let her leave and “kept giving me coke while I was hammered.”
Her friend said she’d warned the complainant about DeJesus Carrasco. In a text sent at 10:10 p.m. the night before, after the friend left the complainant at the bar with MacMillan and DeJesus Carrasco, the friend had texted, “Girlie, be careful tonight. Enzo can be … pushy :/”
“I will babe don’t worry,” the complainant texted back, although she testified Tuesday that she did not recall this exchange.
The complainant said that she was in a state of panic when she sent the texts the next morning because she was terrified and was trying to figure out what to do.
Robichaud suggested the complainant was embarrassed and worried about what her friend would think of her if she found out about the rough, consensual sex that night from MacMillan or DeJesus Carrasco.
“It’s not that. What just happened to me, I didn’t want her to be around them,” the complainant said. “Why do you think I’m here? Why do you think I’m going through this, not just walking away from it?”
She said she did not respond to texts from her then-boyfriend that morning because she didn’t know what to say.
“I’m bruised EVERYWHERE. What am I gonna tell my … boyfriend?!?” she texted her friend in the morning.
Much later that day, she texted her then-boyfriend that they needed to talk later.
Robichaud suggested that she didn’t know how to explain to her boyfriend that she’d cheated on him, and that she messaged him after going to the police because she could then tell him it had been a sexual assault.
The complainant said that was not true, and that she had been struggling with how to tell her boyfriend, her family, her friends and strangers like the paramedics and police what happened to her.
“It’s embarrassing. It’s terrifying,” she said. “Like, how do you go about that when you don’t even know what happened?”
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She also said she was worried about how her boyfriend would react to the news.
During the cross-examination, Robichaud played the complainant some short clips from security video footage from the bar that night, and suggested again that she actually does have a memory of what went on that night but is lying because it doesn’t support her allegations.
He repeatedly showed her one short explicit clip from 5:30 a.m. and suggested the complainant was smiling and talking to MacMillan while on her knees in front of him.
She said they appeared to be having a conversation but she couldn’t tell if she was smiling. She still said she still couldn’t tell after a zoomed in version was played to her.
Robichaud suggested to her that she “absolutely (has) a memory of this. And you remember you were smiling and were having a good time at this point in time.”
The complainant denied this and said she has no memory of what the video shows.
“I was not consenting at any point,” she said. “I did not consent.”
Robichaud pointed out that the complainant told the police in her statement in December 2016 that she never left the bar until the morning but the video clearly shows she did leave for a period of time starting at around 11:45 p.m.
He said she told the police this to support her allegation that she had been forcibly confined.
She responded that she had no memory of ever leaving the bar and has very little memory of what happened that night.
After being shown a clip of her leaving the bar, she said the video showed her “crashing into tables” as she staggered towards the door.
“That right there itself, how would I remember that?” she said. “Obviously I wouldn’t remember that … it looks really messed up.”
The trial continues.