'Broken people do broken things': Parkade rape trial hears from accused
Andy Ntunaguza is on trial for aggravated sexual assault and forcible confinement
The man accused of brutally raping and beating a woman in a downtown Calgary parkade testified in his own defence Tuesday. He told the jury that he paid the woman for consensual sex just minutes before someone else came along and raped her.
Andy Ntunaguza, 32, is on trial for aggravated sexual assault, forcible confinement and overcoming resistance by choking. Jurors have already heard that his DNA was found inside the victim.
Before calling their client, defence counsel asked the jury to keep an open mind despite the fact jurors may be offended by Ntunaguza's admissions he used drugs and paid for sex.
"Broken people do broken things," said Dale Fedorchuk. "Please do not confuse a broken person for an evil one."
After prosecutor Deven Singhal rested the Crown's case Monday afternoon, defence lawyers Fedorchuk and Ramai Alvarez presented an opening statement and then called Ntunaguza — their first and only witness.
Through a French interpreter, Ntunaguza testified he lived in Burundi and Switzerland before moving to Montreal and then Calgary.
He said he has had problems with alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and crack cocaine since his mid-20s. In December 2015, Ntunaguza said, he was living at homeless shelters: the Calgary Drop-In Centre and the Mustard Seed.
The victim was badly beaten and raped in a downtown parkade on Dec. 20, 2015.
This isn't a case of whether or not the victim was raped and beaten; the medical evidence supports that she was.
The Crown's position is that Ntunaguza committed the crimes. Ntunaguza's lawyers say he had consensual sex for money without a condom and minutes after leaving the victim, someone else — a man who had been with Ntunaguza earlier in the night — came along and raped her.
Ntunaguza said he had been drinking and smoking crack cocaine and marijuana all night. At one point, Ntunaguza and an acquaintance entered the parkade to smoke a joint. Ntunagiza said he left the parkade, saw the woman nearby and chatted her up, believing she was a "street worker."
Ntunaguza says he paid for sex
He said he asked her for a date, to which she agreed and the two walked back into the parkade. Ntunaguza's acquaintance was still there but within minutes left the two alone.
Ntunaguza says they pair had sex, he gave her $50 and left the area. He testified he found a drug dealer outside, bought more crack and entered the parkade again, smoking the drug and drinking a beer in a different area, and then left.
Under cross-examination, prosecutor Singhal pointed out that after his arrest, Ntunaguza told the detective he did not know or remember what happened between himself and the victim. But during his testimony, he remembered very specific details like where a cigarette was placed and the exact locations where various sexual acts took place.
The victim is 49 years old, has been homeless for much of her life, and suffers from lupus and fibromyalgia.
She testified earlier in the trial, pointing to Ntunaguza as her attacker and told jurors he spoke with a French accent. The woman testified she initially agreed to exchange sex for money but said once she asked to see the cash, Ntunaguza got violent and began to punch her in the face before raping her.
Closing arguments Wednesday
Singhal also asked the accused about a six-day-old newspaper that Ntunaguza had with him when he was arrested on Dec. 29, 2015. It included an article about the rape and a photo of the accused captured from the parkade's surveillance cameras.
Ntunaguza said he had the days-old paper with him because of the Sudoku inside.
Singhal suggested to Ntunaguza that he choked the woman, punched her, and raped her, which Ntunaguza denied.
It is the defence's position that the woman confused Ntunaguza with her actual attacker.
Though she was confident throughout her evidence that Ntunaguza was her attacker, at the end of Fedorchuk's cross examination of the victim on the second day of her testimony she agreed with his suggestion that Ntunaguza didn't hit or choke her.
Closing arguments will be made on Wednesday.
After that, the jury will receive its final instructions from Court of Queen's Bench Justice Adam Germain. The jurors will be sequestered until a verdict is reached.