Dustin Paxton, 31, is on trial for aggravated assault, forcible confinement, sexual assault, sexual assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon against his former roommate, who cannot be named.
He has also been charged with assaulting and threatening Abraham Chutta, who worked for the moving company run by Paxton and his roommate and lived with them for a time.
Shortly after moving into the house, Chutta noticed a change in Paxton's attitude toward the victim, he told the court.
'The slaps started turning into punches.' —Abraham Chutta, alleged victim
"The reasons would get smaller, the arguments would get bigger," he testified. "The slaps started turning into punches."
Paxton then started abusing Chutta as well, court heard. Chutta said he was hit with a stick, a police baton and a dog leash.
Paxton was smiling and smirking in the prisoner's box as Chutta testified.
On one occasion the accused threw him down the stairs, Chutta said.
Chutta said Paxton also threatened his family. "He held a knife to me and said if I ever tried to leave he would kill my family."
But the roommate got the worst of it, and was in rough shape, Chutta added.
was a broken man. He was beat up, no confidence, he was scared to go in the house."
The assaults against Paxton's roommate — which the man's family said amounted to torture — are alleged to have occurred between December 2008 and April 2010 in Calgary and Regina, until the man was dropped off at a Regina hospital.
At that point he weighed only 87 pounds and part of his lips and tongue had been cut off.
The Crown plans to call 50 witnesses in the trial, which is set to last five weeks. Paxton's alleged victim is expected to testify in mid-October.
A publication ban prohibits naming the alleged sexual assault victim and other witnesses that could lead to identifying him.