Sex was consensual: officers

The woman who alleges two RCMP officers raped her was conscious and proactive throughout the entire sexual encounter, the officers testified in court on Thursday. After Graham Belak, 30, and Shawn McLaughlin, 33, took the woman back to Belak's house following a party in Watson Lake on March 8, 2009...

The woman who alleges two RCMP officers raped her was conscious and proactive throughout the entire sexual encounter, the officers testified in court on Thursday.

After Graham Belak, 30, and Shawn McLaughlin, 33, took the woman back to Belak’s house following a party in Watson Lake on March 8, 2009, she began unloading on her husband, they said.

“He treats me like crap,” the officers remember her saying.

“The best way to get back at a man is to cheat on him,” Belak suggested.

Not long after, that’s exactly what happened.

The woman, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, testified earlier in the week that she was unconscious and was attacked by both officers.

But the way the officers remember it, the evening was nothing more than a harmless threesome.

The officers met the woman for the first time that night during a party at the home of Sean Walsh. They soon found out that she had only been in Watson Lake for a week and that she was married.

Throughout the evening, she flirted with both officers with abandon, they testified.

The first time Belak and the woman spoke to each other, in Walsh’s kitchen, she told them to watch out in the future because she might want to have her way with them, they said.

Later, in the basement, she sat on an exercise ball and gave McLaughlin seductive glances.

McLaughlin described her legs being spread on a “ribbed” exercise ball while moving in a straddling motion.

Also, while sitting between the officers on a couch toward the end of the party, she began rubbing both their inner thighs near their groins.

“We spent the majority of the night together,” McLaughlin said in court Thursday. “(The woman) made aggressive sexual advances on me.”

Despite describing her behaviour as surprising for a stranger, McLaughlin didn’t rebuff her advances, he said.

The woman also made an unequivocal request for sexual intercourse at the party, they said.

“Last person to touch me gets to take me home,” both officers heard her say.

From then on, the sexual tone of their interaction only increased.

The woman was the only person other than McLaughlin to accept Belak’s invitation to continue drinking at his place.

On the walk over, a conversation was struck about another woman in town who Belak described as pretty.

“She’s not your type because she won’t sleep with you on the first night,” both officers remember her saying.

She doesn’t recall the conversation. Belak testified that he took it as an indication she would sleep with him on the first night.

Once at Belak’s residence, each had a glass of wine and struck up a conversation about her husband.

He’s never cheated on me, but he doesn’t treat me well, the officers remember her saying.

At the same time, they complemented her sweater and how well it fit.

She stood up and pushed her shoulders back to show her breasts.

“I’m a butt man,” said Belak. He prefers a woman with a nice rear end over a woman with great breasts, he said.

“I think I can offer you both,” the cops heard her say, and she turned around to shake her behind.

Not long after, McLaughlin had to bring up the elephant in the room, he said.

“I don’t know what’s going on here, but are we having a threesome?” he remembers saying.

“I’m not going to lie to you, it’s not like it didn’t cross my mind,” she said.

She went to the bathroom. When she came back, McLaughlin went to the bathroom. On his way back, she grabbed his hand and brought it near her.

He approached her from behind and began kissing her neck. She reciprocated.

Not long after, she was giving McLaughlin oral sex on the couch, the cops testified. They moved to the floor and continued.

Belak came up behind her and began rubbing her back. After taking off her sweater, pants and underwear, Belak was having vaginal intercourse with her.

The trio changed positions numerous times and took at least two breaks.

McLaughlin left and the woman and Belak took it to the bedroom. After more intercourse, both fell asleep. The officers didn’t use condoms.

She woke Belak up before leaving, at around 5:30 a.m. She would make something up so her husband wouldn’t know.

“He’s Irish and has a short temper,” Belak said she told him.

And then she walked home.

The woman was never unconscious, they said.

She seemed “fine” and wasn’t very drunk, McLaughlin said.

But that’s not what people at the party remember.

Six people at the party all testified that the woman was anywhere between moderately drunk and “sloppy drunk.”

The witnesses, who testified earlier this week, offered conflicting summations of the amount of alcohol she drank at the party.

By her own admission, she had three beers and a marijuana joint before the party. She brought four more beers with her to Walsh’s.

She also drank Screech rum, a strong Newfoundland liquor.

One of the witnesses testified that he mixed her two margaritas.

Another witness said they shared three tequila shots.

She also got a can of Guinness from another witness.

And then there’s the glass and a half of red wine she had at Belak’s.

During the officer’s cross-examination, the Crown prosecution, Rob Beck, asked McLaughlin what he though of his behaviour that night.

His actions were highly inappropriate, he said.

McLaughlin is married and had a two-year-old son at home that night. He was an experienced officer who had at times been second-in-command at the Watson Lake detachment.

Belak, on the other hand, didn’t think his behaviour was “immoral,” he testified. He is single.

Both agreed that their positions as police officers in small isolated communities made them important people that are supposed to lead by example.

During the alleged victim’s cross-examination on Wednesday, she denied that her flirting was meant to be sexual advances.

She also denied the topic of cheating arose at Belak’s house.

The woman said she never would have said, “I can offer you both.”

Asked why she didn’t leave, she replied that she wasn’t able to think straight.

“My thought processes were very slow,” she said.

She believes she was drugged. She remembers losing feeling on her lips and being unable to speak or move during the attack.

She also made note of how she felt safe in the company of police officers.

“I didn’t feel threatened by Shawn,” she said.

The Crown and the prosecution will offer their closing arguments this morning at the Yukon courthouse. Justice Leigh Gower is presiding over the case. A decision date has not yet been scheduled.

Contact James Munson at

jamesm@yukon-news.com.

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