The trial for a man accused of sexually touching and assaulting a girl under 16 years old in Faro, as well as breaking and entering, began this week.
Jared Alexander Marcus Hadvick, 34, faces the charges for events dating back to 2018.
He has entered not guilty pleas and selected a trial by judge and jury.
The case, presided over by Justice David Gates, began with jury selection on Aug. 22. The 14-person jury was selected and present in the courtroom by the following day.
“We are now a court composed of 15 judges,” Gates said, commencing his instruction for the jurors.
With the jury instructed on their responsibilities, the charges against Hadvick were read and the Crown and defence lawyers gave their opening statements.
Speaking for the Crown was Noel Sinclair, who said that he and his co-counsel Melissa McKay would be setting out to prove that Hadvick had intentional sexual contact with the teen, whose identity is protected by a publication ban. He said the Crown would call witnesses including members of the teen’s family and family friends, one of Hadvick’s co-workers and RCMP officers to offer evidence about events in October of 2018.
Sinclair said the Jury would hear details about a Halloween party the weekend before as well as an earlier gathering that will lend context to the unlawful sex acts alleged to have taken place either late at night on Oct. 30, 2018 or in the early hours of the following morning.
The Crown lawyer summarized the testimony he expects the jury will hear from witnesses: descriptions of the teen and Hadvick leaving a bar together, words from the owner of a vacant house under renovation who Sinclair said found the teen asleep in a chair wrapped in only a towel on the morning of Oct. 31 and testimony from the teen’s mother.
Sinclair said the Crown’s case will draw from the Criminal Code section that makes it unlawful for adults to have sexual contact with people under 16, because legally they are children and cannot consent. He told the jury that the law clearly requires that people take all reasonable steps to ensure sexual partners are of age before having sexual contact with them.
Hadvick’s lawyer Meghan Forhan also offered an opening statement to the jury. Forhan said the case will come down to whether Hadvick knew or ought to have known that the girl was underage. Forhan said the defence will make the case that Hadvick believed the teen was 19 years old based on the fact that she was being served alcohol and hanging out with his work crew in the bar among other factors.
Forhan added that the jury is likely to hear evidence from the girl’s mother suggesting Hadvick knew the girl was underage prior to Oct. 30, 2018. Forhan told the jury the defence plans to sow doubt that it was actually Hadvick that the girl’s mother told this to.
The trial is scheduled for 10 days, meaning the jury’s verdict won’t arrive until late next week at the earliest.
The charges against Hadvick have not been proven.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org