Judge rules on consent issue in Yukon sexual assault case

Territorial court judge, Dennis Schmidt, says sharing a bed does not imply consent to sexual activity.

 26-year-old Whitehorse man who molested a friend after a drunken party has been convicted of sexual assault.

Ashton Reed Rosenthal was convicted by Judge Dennis Schmidt after a trial in territorial court. Schmidt released his written decision on Aug. 4.

The assault took place in August 2013. Three young men and a young woman were partying at the home of one of the men.

They were drinking mojitos, wine and doing shots. Earlier in the evening they were dancing in their underwear and later were naked in a hot tub.

The woman told the court she was very drunk and asked Rosenthal if she could share the extra bed he was planning to sleep in. The party continued almost all night with the woman going to bed before Rosenthal.

She testified she woke up when Rosenthal molested her.

Rosenthal, a student at Yukon College, did not testify at his trial. The judge rejected his lawyer's suggestion that the events of the evening formed consent.

He ruled there had been no sexual activity leading up to the assault. There was no indication that the two planned to share the bed to have sex.

The judge said "people would be at quite a risk if the sharing of a bed was thought to be consent to sexual activity. No two-man tent would ever be safe again."

Rosenthal's sentencing is set for Aug. 11.