Man Accused of Sexual Assault, Attempted Murder Testifies During Trial Continuation

The now 20-year old man says he's aware of the allegations against him, but testified on Friday (Feb. 2) that they are untrue.

A trial continuing Friday morning (Feb. 2) for a Lethbridge man charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault. In May 2015, police say a south side apartment was broken into and a woman living there was sexually assaulted. She was then dragged outside where the assault continued and her throat was cut with a knife. The victim survived but died a few months later from unrelated causes. Another witness has also passed away since providing a statement to police. Judge Greg Maxwell ruled in November that parts of those two statements should be allowed as evidence. The man -- who is now 20-years old but still cannot be named since he was 17-years old at the time of the offence -- testifying on Friday (Feb. 2) that he was involved in a street fight with a unknown group of two men and two women in the days leading up to the alleged incident. During the Crown prosecutor's cross-examination, the accused noted that one man suffered a bloody nose and the other a bloody lip, but he couldn't recall any injuries to himself. The accused says he does recall blood on the tank top he was wearing and may have changed out of his jeans in the time between the fight and alleged attack. On the night of the attack, the man says he was hanging around a downtown Lethbridge nightclub with his sister and brother-in-law, and they eventually caught a ride back to his sister's home on the south side, where he had been living for a few months. There he says he drank some beers and several shots with his sister, brother-in-law and the people who drove them, and then went to sleep alone a short time later after the group started arguing. He went on to testify that Lethbridge Police came to his home the next morning and he was arrested for an outstanding warrant. He notes that he was questioned by officers at the police station and his clothing was also seized. When asked directly by his defence lawyer, the man says there was no sexual assault, he did not interact with the victim, there was no break and enter and he did not cut the victim with a knife. He says he's aware of the allegations against him, but testifies they are untrue. The case will be back on February 20 for final submissions. -Sam Borsato

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