Penticton Western News

Closing arguments heard in sexual assault trial

Ronald Teneycke is facing three counts of sexual assault for an alleged incident that took place on July 31, 2011. - Mark Brett/Western News
Ronald Teneycke is facing three counts of sexual assault for an alleged incident that took place on July 31, 2011.
— image credit: Mark Brett/Western News

Closing arguments during the trial for an alleged violent sexual assault had both sides agreeing this is a case of credibility.

Ronald Teneycke is facing three sexual assault charges, unlawful confinement and a breach of probation for an alleged assault that took place on July 31, 2011 at an abandoned pumphouse on a forest service road in Okanagan Falls.

Crown counsel John Swanson argued the accused has sat through the trial and manipulated his testimony to match that of the evidence he has heard. He said physical, medical and DNA evidence provided at trial “clearly establishes” the accused is guilty and the activity between the two people was not consensual.

“Why didn’t the accused return to his residence just a few kilometres away to engage in sexual foreplay rather than in the dark, in the dirt beside some sort of dilapidated shed or pumphouse,” said Swanson.

Teneycke originally lied to RCMP because he said he was embarrassed the pair made a homemade sex toy, that he couldn’t get an erection and he didn’t want to talk about his STD. Swanson questioned whether a man so embarrassed to tell the RCMP the truth, would also tell them he “tried and tried and tried” to get an erection but couldn’t. Crown also brought up why the defence hadn’t called up other witnesses to back up the man’s story of why he had an ex-girlfriend’s bag of sex toys in his trunk. Swanson said only Teneycke’s DNA was found on the innermost layers of a homemade sex toy that the accused claims they constructed together, and finally, Teneycke’s prior record corroborates he is not a person that can be believed.

“They hadn’t fought. There was no suggestion that she was out to get him. They never met before that day. They were complete strangers,” said Swanson. “There was nothing for her to gain by accusing him of sexual assault.”

Swanson also poked holes in the defence theory of a developing romantic relationship by asking why those significant details weren’t posed to the woman in cross-examination. He suggested this even further corroborates Teneycke was manipulating his testimony. Justice James Williams also pointed out to defence council that he was “concerned” about insufficient questioning about this as the case developed.

Defence council Michael Welsh argued the complainant, who cannot be named, had “credibility cracks.” She answered many of her questions “with variations of I don’t recall” while Teneycke’s testimony had a “natural flow.”

Evidence that supports Teneycke’s story, said Welsh, includes witnesses who saw the woman fall that resulted in her bruises, the fact he has a clear recollection of conversations and the timeline, his mother’s testimony that the woman seemed calm and friendly when Teneycke brought her home after the alleged incident and the doctor’s testimony that the woman’s injuries could be consistent with consensual rough sex. Teneycke testified he returned to the pumphouse to retrieve a windbreaker that was left behind, and if he was guilty, Welsh said, he would have cleaned up other physical evidence.

“His evidence fits with so many other details of the night in such a way it can’t be discounted,” said Welsh, who reminded the court that if neither testimony is deemed credible, the justice must acquit.

Welsh also stated the court doesn’t have to determine a motive of why the complainant would lie, but suggested “things just snowballed” for her when after the alleged assault she called her roommate looking for money for a cab and when that request was denied she called 9-1-1.

What both councils agreed was that there is not enough evidence to convict Teneycke of the breach of probation on his curfew or the assault with a weapon (knife). Justice Williams will render his verdict on the three remaining charges on Friday at 10 a.m.

 

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