Former police officer testifies at sex-assault trial
A former Winnipeg police officer accused of sexually assaulting a female client of his off-duty modelling agency is insisting that the sex was consensual.
Richard Dow testified in his own defence on Tuesday, denying the woman's claim that he sexually assaulted her during a photo shoot in 2000.
The woman, who cannot be named due to a court-imposed publication ban, was 18 years old at the time of the alleged incident. Dow was 46 years old at the time, court heard.
As the jury trial began Monday in Winnipeg, the woman testified that in April 2000, she signed up with Ricoco International, the modelling agency Dow operated as a side business, and went to his home for a photo shoot.
The woman claimed that she and Dow drank several cocktails during and after the photo session, and she became very intoxicated and blacked out several times.
It was around that time that Dow sexually assaulted her, the woman testified.
Woman did not object, Dow claims
But Dow insisted throughout his testimony Tuesday that he did not ply the woman with alcohol. He also said repeatedly that the woman consented to having sex with him.
The woman started kissing him after the photo shoot and they engaged in consensual sex, Dow said, adding that she later told him she enjoyed the experience.
Dow told jurors that the woman never objected to their brief relationship, and she met with him several times after that initial encounter, including at a second photo shoot.
On Monday, when Dow's lawyer suggested that the woman actively participated in the sex acts, she told the court, "I wasn't in a state of mind to make decisions."
Dow disputed the woman's claim that she was very nervous during the photo shoot, telling the jury he has photographed models who are even more shy.
The woman did not appear nervous at all, Dow testified. As well, she was OK with topless photographs that were taken of her, he said.
Did not tell police until 2006
Dow said the woman eventually asked him to remove her photographs from Ricoco's website.
The woman acknowledged in court that she did not tell anyone about the alleged sexual assault until police approached her during an investigation of another matter in 2006.
Crown and defence lawyers are expected to present their closing arguments on Wednesday.
Dow retired from the Winnipeg Police Service in 2007, after an 18-year career.
On Tuesday, Dow told the court that he started the modelling and talent agency because shift work as a police officer gave him extra time.
Dow said he followed standard police procedure by requesting permission from the police chief to operate a business. That permission was granted, he said.
Ricoco International had between 200 and 300 models under contract at any time, Dow testified.
He told the court he provided models for trade shows and for print publications for Saan, Penthouse Furniture, Molson, Superstore, and other businesses.