(Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Accused, complainant tell different stories during testimony at Whitehorse sexual assault trial

Dion Roberts, charged with sexual assault, testified that the sex he had was consensual.

Two differing stories emerged as the complainant and accused in a sexual assault trial testified in a Whitehorse courtroom April 25 and 26.

Dion Roberts, 30, is alleged to have sexually assaulted a woman in the early hours of Feb. 9, 2016, after he was invited back to her home following a night of drinking and socializing at the Casa Loma Motel in Porter Creek.

Roberts has pleaded not guilty. The trial, which began April 24, is being heard by a 12-member jury.

The complainant, a Whitehorse woman whose identity is protected by a publication ban, took the witness stand April 25,

The woman testified she had gone out to a pool hall and then to the Casa Loma the night of Feb. 8, 2016, where, accompanied by one of her roommates, she ran into Roberts. The woman said she and Roberts had grown up together but lost touch over the years, and the three of them spent the night drinking and catching up.

She said they left the bar and she drove Roberts’ truck back to her house, where she, Roberts and the roommate played a Jenga-like drinking game at her kitchen table. The woman testified that she didn’t drink anything else at home because she had to work in the morning, and eventually left the table to take a shower and go to bed.

The woman testified that she was asleep on her side when she was awaken by someone pressed against her back and groping her breasts. She said she turned her head to see Roberts, who got on top of her, pinned her hands up over her head and then penetrated her.

The woman said she froze out of fear and shock when the alleged sexual assault started, remained frozen for a few minutes before she could speak up. She said she told Roberts to stop three times — which she said he did not — before pushing him off and going to one of her roommate’s rooms downstairs, where she stayed for the rest of the night.

The woman went to the hospital later that day to have a rape kit done. She said she initially wasn’t sure if she wanted to report what happened to police, but did so after going out drinking and telling some friends what had happened.

Sex was consensual, man says

However, taking the stand April 26, Roberts, who broke down in tears twice, testified that it was the woman who had initiated the sexual activity and that the sex they had that night was consensual.

The man also said that after going back to the woman’s house, he, the woman and her roommate played the Jenga game, and that, on top of a beer he had snuck out of the bar, he also drank some liquor.

However, he said that he doesn’t recall the woman leaving to take a shower, and that she and the roommate went to bed around the same time while he went to sleep on the living room couch.

Roberts testified that he had dozed off for a few minutes when he was awoken by the woman standing near his feet. She then invited him into her room where they began kissing and touching each other on her bed, he said, and, while she was on top of him, she got a condom out of her nightstand and put it on his penis.

Roberts said they had consensual sex until the woman suddenly told him to stop — which he said he did — and left the room. He said he then fell asleep and was suddenly awoken by one of the woman’s roommates screaming at him to get out of the house.

Roberts also admitted multiple times, at first in response to questions from his lawyer Benjamin Bruce Warnsby and then during cross-examination by Crown attorney Paul Battin, that he had lied in his statement to police, including about being at the Casa Loma the night of Feb. 8, 2016, and seeing the woman. He said he did so, even though he was a correctional officer and knew better, because he was nervous, panicking, and worried about his future.

“I regret it every day,” he said.

Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower was expected to give the jury final instructions Friday, with the Crown and defence delivering closing submissions before the jurors begin deliberations.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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