Trial kicked off Tuesday morning in Penticton’s B.C. Supreme Court chambers over charges of sexual assault, assault and forcible confinement against a man accused of raping his ex-partner.                                (Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

Trial kicked off Tuesday morning in Penticton’s B.C. Supreme Court chambers over charges of sexual assault, assault and forcible confinement against a man accused of raping his ex-partner. (Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

Trial begins for Princeton man accused of raping ex-partner

Court heard the man blocked his ex-partner from leaving his house before sexually assaulting her

Warning: Graphic content ahead. May be disturbing to some readers.

A Princeton man raped his ex-partner after blocking her from leaving his house, B.C. Supreme Court heard Tuesday morning in a trial over troubling charges of assault, sexual assault and forcible confinement.

Crown lawyer Nashina Devji made brief introductory remarks about her witnesses Tuesday morning before bringing the complainant on as the first witness, who will only be referred to as M.A. due to a publication ban.

Due to the small size of Princeton’s community, the Western News will only refer to the accused as D.W. to avoid identifying the complainant.

In her testimony, M.A. said she had met D.W. through her work in retail, and had seen him at work everyday before they began a relationship until a May breakup.

“I didn’t really want to be in the relationship after May, the first time. But I didn’t feel like I could not be in the relationship,” she said.

“We were kind of seeing each other, but we weren’t really supposed to because there was a peace bond in place, but then he convinced me to drop the peace bond.”

Then M.A.’s roommate moved in with D.W., and on Nov. 10, M.A. said she texted D.W. to say she wanted to come over and get some of her belongings her former roommate had taken with her.

That night, the accused picked up the complainant on the promise he would drive her home when she wanted, M.A. said.

The two began drinking and using cocaine after trying to find M.A.’s things, she said. The two began fighting, with D.W. allegedly calling M.A. a “whore” and saying she had another boyfriend, which M.A. denied.

D.W. allegedly declined to drive M.A. home and physically blocked her from leaving multiple exits, bear hugging her when she tried to get past him.

M.A. said she had a panic attack and fell to her knees, and D.W. straddled her, pushing her face into the floor, causing a tooth to go through her bottom lip and bite the top lip. M.A. further testified that D.W. began choking her with his hand on her neck and smothered her face with a pillow, saying she could not breathe.

M.A. told the court she was not aware of whether or not she lost consciousness, but said he eventually lifted the pillow and stuffed a sock in her mouth for a short time before pulling her pants off.

“(I was) trying to scream loud enough that the neighbours can hear me. Trying to get away, but I can’t,” M.A. said through tears.

“Let me go. Don’t do it. I don’t want it. Stop,” M.A. said she yelled at the time, but was not getting any response from D.W., who allegedly proceeded to rape M.A.

Afterward, M.A. said D.W. walked away to an unknown area of the house, while she lay crying on the floor. He reportedly returned and grabbed her, forcing her up and leading her to his room.

D.W. reportedly held M.A. in bed, keeping her from leaving, and she eventually fell asleep. M.A. said she woke up to knocking at the door, and when she looked out the window, she saw it was her roommate. She said she was only able to leave because she knocked on the window to alert her friend as she walked away.

Bruises were apparent around her body, from her ribs to her throat to her hairline and her face, which she tried to cover up with makeup because she was unable to push her shift at work back.

M.A. said police got involved after her friend told another friend, who told her mother. She gave a statement to RCMP when officers came into her work. After she got off she went to the hospital in Princeton, but was told she had to go to Penticton to get examined for sexual assault.

Devji said she has two more witnesses, including the friend that picked M.A. up, as well as a nurse that examined M.A. It is unclear how many witnesses defence lawyer James Pennington plans to call.

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

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