The man who was physically and sexually abused and starved for 18 months by Dustin Paxton says he never fled from his abuser because he had suffered brain damage from the beatings and couldn't make rational decisions.
"I think I received brain injury really early, and I think that one of the decision-making sensors in my brain was damaged," said the man, who spoke out about his ordeal in an exclusive interview with CBC's The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti. He cannot be identified because of a publication ban.
"Once that was all damaged, I wasn't making rational choices."
- Listen to the interview with The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti
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- Dustin Paxton trial raises questions about torture
The man, who was Paxton's former business partner and roommate, was dropped off at a Regina hospital in April 2010. He was beaten and emaciated, weighing 87 pounds, a dramatic drop from his normal 200 to 250 pound weight, and suffering from several broken bones and a mutilated face.
"It was horrible," said the man's mother, who also spoke to The Current. "The doctors that contacted us from Regina Hospital said that he wasn’t going to make it and that we should expect to come and pull the plug."
"The person that was laying there on life support failing rapidly did not resemble my son at all," his mother said. "He looked like an Auschwitz survivor that had been brutally beaten and mutilated."
The man said Paxton used a cane, leash or extension cord to administer regular beatings and that he was chocked and punched every day.
He had told court that the daily beatings and choking at the hands of Paxton began on Oct. 31, 2008, when he moved to Calgary from Winnipeg.
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"It was horrible right from the very first day," the man told Tremonti. He said Paxton got mad when he accidentally backed his chair over an extension cord and started hitting him on the head with a steel-toed boot. The abuse he said escalated from there.
In 2009, the man said Paxton beat him with a two-by-four which landed him in the hospital with a broken back, broken ribs, a ruptured bowel and a punctured lung.
The man's mother said the family was told he had been in a work-related accident, that he had only broken his collarbone and that he was on workers compensation.
Victim wants torture definition expanded
Paxton was convicted last year in a Calgary courtroom of aggravated and sexual assault. A judge is expected to rule next month on whether Paxton should be declared a dangerous offender.
The man's family believe the man was tortured, a crime Paxton could not have been charged with under the Criminal Code. Only government officials like police and military officers can be charged with torture.
But the man and his mother are seeking to have the federal government recognize non-state torture as a separate crime.
"Aggravated assault is not enough. What happened to my son was torture," his mother said. "It was sustained. It was over a long period of time and it was ritualized."