Lyle Howe complainant faces cross-examination
Halifax lawyer charged with sexual assault and administering a noxious substance
The woman who is accusing lawyer Lyle Howe of drugging and sexually assaulting her had difficulty during cross-examination Friday recalling details of the days after the alleged incident.
Howe has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and administering a noxious substance. The charges were laid after an alleged incident on March 21, 2011, involving a 19-year-old woman.
The woman has been the only witness so far in a trial that's expected to last all month.
The woman was on the stand for a fourth day Friday. She replied to many questions posed by defence lawyer Mike Taylor with, "I don't know."
She was asked why after the alleged assault she told some friends in text messages and emails that nothing was wrong.
"It's easier to say that you're going to go hang out with somebody than it is to say you need to go get a rape kit done," said the woman, whose identity is banned from publication.
The woman told some friends that she’d been assaulted and went to hospital the day after she says Howe drugged and raped her.
Taylor asked her if it was fair to make those allegations when she had no memory of what happened.
"I think I have every right to make the assumption if there are condoms all through my apartment and I have no memory," she testified.
There are huge gaps in what the woman remembers from March 2011, she testified this week.
She told court Thursday that part of reason is she has spent the past three years trying to forget.
But even in the hours and days after the alleged assault, the woman was having trouble remembering, something defence lawyer Mike Taylor picked up on as he began his cross examination.
"So far, it really has focused on memory issues. But there have been some inconsistencies brought to our attention," he said.
The woman has already spent more than 10 hours on the stand, over three days.
The last part of her testimony involved her standing in the middle of the courtroom, watching security videos from the apartment building where she lived.
She told court the video shows her, Howe and Howe's friend all arriving at the apartment building on the night in question.
Crown prosecutor Dan Rideout said the woman had a lot of ground to cover.
"There was a lot of evidence that we had to get through. So by virtue of that, it seemed like a necessity and that's unfortunate for any witness to have to go through that long of a testimony," he said.
The complainant will be back on the stand on Monday.
The next scheduled witness is the complainant's roommate — the man who discovered her the next morning, lying sore and naked on the floor of their apartment.