Sexual assault victim tells her story
The victim of an alleged abduction in the Halifax area told CBC News she relied only on her wits to escape from the trunk of a speeding car last month.
The 29-year-old woman, whose identity is protected by a court order, said she was sexually assaulted, bound and kidnapped on Aug. 16.
"He was choking me by my throat and I was trying to fight him but I couldn't do nothing," she told CBC News.
"He kept knocking me out, he kept putting me out by grabbing my throat."
The woman, who was a sex-trade worker until the day of the attack, said she got into a man's car in Spryfield, and he drove her to a parking lot.
She said she was overpowered and sexually assaulted.
"I remember coming to and I was duct-taped … my mouth, my ankles, my wrist, behind my back," she said.
"I remember waking up because he was undoing my pants at this point. I remember sitting up and saying, 'Shh, listen, there's somebody right there.' I was trying to get him to stop and he didn't stop, he kept going.
"He kept smacking my head into the ground, and my chin, kept slamming my face into the ground, telling me he was gonna kill me."
The woman said she was stuffed into the trunk of the man's car, and she felt the car was travelling about 120 kilometres an hour.
Two days after the attack, Halifax Regional Police charged 35-year-old Steven Elliot Laffin with abduction, forcible confinement, aggravated sexual assault and uttering death threats in the woman's case.
Remembered boyfriend's advice
Laffin, who is being held at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth, has a court appearance on Oct. 14.
This is not the first time Laffin has faced such charges. Court records show that in June, a charge of sexual assault with a knife was dropped when the alleged victim, another sex-trade worker, did not show up in court.
The woman in the August incident said she doesn't remember anything until she woke up in the trunk.
"I remember my boyfriend saying, 'If you ever get locked in the trunk there's always a lever to pull,'" she explained.
"I popped the trunk, the trunk come down so hard on me it knocked me out again. I don't know how long I was out … then I come to and I got up and I pulled the lever and I went out head first and I don't remember anything until I come to on the road."
The woman said she ran to a home on Old Sambro Road in Halifax, where the residents helped her call the police. She said she is struggling to recover from her injuries and the emotional trauma.
"Him telling me he was gonna kill me, and whispering in my ear. I can still feel him right here," she said.
"I see him every night. I can't sleep."