Red Deer sex assault trial hears police interview with accused teen

The court hears from the Red Deer teenager on trial for sexual assault during outings with scouts and cadets.

Teen told police he exposed himself to a boy during a camping trip, but didn't force him to touch

The teen accused of sexually assaulting other youth during outings with Scouts Canada and Cadets Canada testified in a Red Deer courtroom today. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

A teenager on trial for sexually assaulting other teens while on outings with Scouts Canada and Cadets Canada admitted to police that he had exposed himself to a boy during a camping trip.

But the teen denied brandishing a knife threatening to hurt the alleged victim if he didn't touch the accused's penis, according to a police interview that was played in Red Deer youth court Wednesday. 

The accused — who was 17 at the time of his arrest and cannot be named under law — faces nine counts including sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon.

Teen cries on tape, says he's scared

Today the accused sat quietly in court, looking down, listening to the recording while dressed in a dark suit.

At one point during the recorded interview, the officer said, "I think there's something here. I think something did happen. I think you did expose yourself." 

The officer went on to ask the accused if he understood the gravity of the situation, and what he thought the punishment should be for such serious crimes.

"I don't know," replied the accused. 

"Life in prison?" asked the officer.

"No," said the accused.

"Five years? 10 years?" suggested the officer.

That's when the accused started to cry, saying he was scared. 

The officer then said, "Why don't we clear the air here and get to the truth about what happened?"

The accused then admitted to some of the allegations including touching some of the girls' bottoms and exposing himself. 

The officer said, "They've all felt like they were victims of you. Do you agree?"

"Yes," said the accused.

When asked why he thought that, the accused said the other girls and boys didn't feel comfortable with it.

"Did you know at the time?" 

"No," said the accused.

Trial continues this afternoon 

The five alleged victims include boys and girls who earlier testified to being assaulted multiple times and being threatened with a knife.

The alleged assaults occurred between 2012 and 2015. 

The accused was involved with Scouts Canada between 2007 and 2012, and with Cadets Canada between 2011 and 2015, according to police.

The defence will present its case this afternoon.

With files from CBC's Colleen Underwood