Lawyers for the three police officers were furious at the woman’s last-minute allegations of harassment after reporting the incident, saying this was news to them
Minutes before she left the witness stand, the complainant who claims she was sexually assaulted by three Toronto Police officers two years ago said she received “intimidation, threats and harassment” at work after reporting the incident.
The 36-year-old parking enforcement officer, who was in the stand for four days, was being briefly re-examined Monday by Crown attorney Ted Ofiara.
He was simply attempting to clarify that not all of her 15 interactions with police and prosecutors afterwards involved her giving formal statements.
But the woman blurted out, “I would say possibly more than half of them (were related) to the intimidation, threats and harassment I’ve received at work in regards to this.”
The three accused officers — Leslie Nyznik, Sameer Kara and Joshua Cabero — were suspended with pay and not on the job after their arrests in February of 2015.
Defence lawyers for the three were furious at the woman’s last-minute allegations, saying this was news to them and that they had the notes of the officers who investigated the case and there was no mention of any such threats.
But Ontario Superior Court Judge Anne Molloy said it was irrelevant to what she has to decide, which is an allegation of sexual assault.
Whatever did or didn’t happen after the woman reported the assault to police, she now has an accommodation, as she told lawyer Harry Black last week, that allows her to stay home and phone her supervisor if she’s not feeling able to work.
The three officers are pleading not guilty in connection with the Jan. 17, 2015, alleged assault, which reportedly occurred at the Westin Harbour Castle hotel downtown.
In two and a half days of cross-examination by Black, who represents Nyznik, Alan Gold, who represents Kara, and Patrick Ducharme, who represents Cabero, the woman was in different ways accused of concocting the alleged assault and for various reasons.
Black suggested she was not only not a victim of non-consensual sex, but also that she was the instigator.
He said she was flirtatious all night, went to the “Rookie Buy Night” party and bar hop with the express intention of ending up “in that rented hotel room having sex,” made lewd suggestions during the evening, in particular to Nyznik, and was in fact an eager participant in every bit of the sexual contact.
Gold, on the other hand, detailed several instances where the woman’s memory was obviously at odds with the facts — she was adamant, for example, that she and the officers had walked about two miles to the Brass Rail strip club, the last stop on the bar hop, but the judge has heard evidence that they took a taxi — and asked, “isn’t it possible that you voluntarily and consciously participated in acts you do not now remember?”
To this, the woman snapped, “No, because in the parts I do remember I was not consenting.”
Gold suggested she was not “a victim of crime, but a victim of the alcoholic delusion and alcoholic diminishment of your memory.”
The woman testified that once in a second cab, on the way to the hotel with Nyznik and Cabero, she was suddenly overcome with an excruciating headache, a loss of vision and had difficulty following the conversation.
Gold replayed the video of the taxi arriving at the hotel and the woman, but for a slight stumble, emerging from the vehicle looking reasonably functional.
If she was feeling as sick as she claimed, he asked, why was she not staying in the cab and asking the driver to take her home?
“I don’t even remember getting out of the taxi,” she said. “I wasn’t capable, I wasn’t in a position to be able to make that rational of a decision … I wasn’t in a position to be making good choices, or really any choices.”
To this, Ducharme asked, “How could you be so wrong?”, and the woman replied, “The only explanation I can give is that I was intoxicated.”
She also believes she was drugged, given a date-rape type drug at some point, but seven of the eight drinks she said she had that night were captured on closed circuit television, which showed bartenders pouring them from the bottle.
She testified that she wasn’t able to talk, resist as she says she wanted to, or move — because, she believes, of the drug.
But Ducharme pointed out that moments before the alleged assault, she was getting out of the taxi and walking to the hotel elevator with Nyznik and Cabero, even laughing at one point, and that at some later point in the morning she managed to gather her clothes and things together and leave.
He suggested her claim that she couldn’t speak, move her body or see during the alleged assault was at odds with the video of her getting out of the cab and walking into the Westin, and three hours later walking out and then texting a friend.
“Your lack of vision … only occurs when sexual acts take place?” he asked.
“No,” she said.
“You have vision at every other point of the evening,” he said.
He said her testimony that she wasn’t capable of consenting “is fabricated, just to explain your behaviour?”
“Absolutely not,” the woman said.
“And the evidence that you couldn’t see is false,” Ducharme said. “Is that a question?” she asked. “Yes,” said the lawyer.
“I disagree,” she replied.
The trial continues Tuesday.
by Christie Blatchford