Update: Trial underway for Armstrong man facing sexual assault charges to continue Wednesday

Update: Trial underway for Armstrong man facing sexual assault charges to continue Wednesday

Convicted in 2015, the Armstrong accused successfully appealed; new trial started Tuesday in Vernon

Editor’s note: The Crown entered a stay of proceedings on the file. Read more here.

Update: 3 p.m.

Court was stood down before defence lawyer Alexander Watt could proceed with cross-examination after the afternoon break.

“Becuase of anxiety, (the complainant) has ‘shut down’ for today,” Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg told Justice Alison Beames in Vernon Supreme Court Tuesday.

The trial will resume Wednesday, March 6 at 10 a.m.

Update: 2 p.m.

Joseph Vance Caron sat quietly as Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg made his opening statements in the new Supreme Court trial that began Tuesday, March 5.

The trial, being heard before Justice Alison Beames without a jury, was ordered after Caron successfully appealed his 2015 conviction.

Caron, born in 1969, was convicted for sexual assault, choking and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm in connection with an incident in Armstrong in May 2014.

Court heard it was raining the night when the complainant, whose name and any identifying information is being withheld to protect their identity, was walking in Armstrong.

The victim sought shelter under the awning of a nearby church and continued to smoke a cigarette when, the Crown submitted, a man approached.

“The accused walked by and joined (the victim) on the porch,” Wiberg said.

Wiberg suggested that the complainant and suspect smoked cigarettes and discussed the weather before the choking and subsequent sexual assault were alleged to have occurred.

“The next thing I know, I’m pinned to the stairs,” the complainant recalled while on the stand under questioning by Wiberg.

“I remember struggling, trying to get away. At some point, he put his hands on my throat to make me stop squirming.”

The complainant said she then submitted to their attacker.

“I wanted to get home… I didn’t want to die. I just wanted to get home,” the complainant said.

After the incident, court heard that the complainant went home before calling the police and being taken to the hospital.

However, under cross-examination, defence lawyer Alexander Watt questioned the complainant’s recollection of their precise location on the night of the incident.

“Do you have a difficulty sometimes dealing with something called global delay?” Watt questioned.

The complainant agreed and explained that global development delay is when someone takes longer to reach certain developmental milestones than others their age.

“The question I really want the answer to is where were you sitting when you first saw the man?” Watt questioned.

“I don’t remember right now,” the complainant responded.

“Were you on the stairs when you first saw him?”

“I can’t remember right now.”

Watt questioned the complainant’s use of the term, “right now,” suggesting what should occur if they wake up tomorrow and remember the story differently.

According to Watt, the victim also had difficulty selecting the suspect out of a lineup prior to the original trial.

The trial continues.

Original

A new trial began Tuesday in Supreme Court in Vernon for an Armstrong man who successfully appealed his 2015 conviction.

Joseph Vance Caron, born in 1969, was convicted for sexual assault, choking and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm in connection with an incident in Armstrong in May 2014.

He was sentenced in 2015 to six years and three months in jail but successfully appealed the conviction.

The case is being heard before a Supreme Court Justice alone.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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