Calgary

Alexander Wagar says woman accusing him of sexual assault is out for 'revenge'

In a second trial two years after he was controversially acquitted by Alberta Judge Robin Camp, Alexander Wagar says the woman who accused him of sexual assault is trying to get "revenge" after seeing him cuddling with another woman.

Warning: Story contains graphic language.

JM, Alexander Wagar's alleged victim, spent part of Monday and most of Tuesday testifying. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

Alexander Wagar says he "is not a f--king rapist" and that the woman who has accused him of sexual assault is trying to get "revenge."

Wagar, 29, testified in his own defence on Tuesday. He had to be told several times to control himself and answer only the questions asked by his defence lawyer, Pat Flynn. 

Shortly after meeting JM — who can't be identified because of a publication ban — at a party, Wagar says he found himself alone in a bathroom with the alleged victim and says he began kissing her.

The two, he said, had consensual sex.

Wagar, 29, is accused of raping JM at a party in 2011, but was acquitted in 2014 by controversial Alberta Provincial Court Judge Robin Camp. During JM's testimony, Camp asked why she hadn't done more to prevent the attack. That and other inappropriate comments led to the Alberta Court of Appeal overturning the acquittal and ordering a new trial.

Though Wagar admitted to being promiscuous, Wagar said he would never force himself on someone.

"She didn't say no," he said of JM's actions in the bathroom. "She was coherent, she helped me to have sex with her."

"My mother taught me to respect women from a young age."

Wagar said he believes JM is accusing him of rape because his brother called her a "slut" and because she saw the accused cuddling with another woman right after the two had sex.

Act of revenge

"What she wanted was just to get some revenge," said Wagar.

Wagar will be cross examined by Crown prosecutor Janice Walsh on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Wagar's lawyer has suggested that what started as consensual sex turned to allegations of rape by portraying the alleged victim as a woman scorned. 

The rape is alleged to have taken place in the bathroom of a basement suite where several friends and acquaintances were drinking together.

JM, who was 19 years old at the time, testified on Tuesday that right after the alleged assault, Wagar had sex with a young woman named Skylar.

"I suggest to you this is more about you being upset about Skylar and Alex having sex after you had sex with Alex," said defence lawyer Pat Flynn. "You felt hurt."

Court also heard evidence that Wagar's brother Lance had a crush on JM and is the one who brought her to the party in December 2011. JM said the incident in the bathroom ended when Lance walked in.

Alexander Wagar is on trial for sexual assault for a second time in nearly two years after he was acquitted by controversial Alberta Judge Robin Camp. (Janice Fletcher)

'You're going to say he raped you'

"When Lance saw you with his brother, he very well may have been jealous," said Flynn, whose question was shut down by an objection from Walsh.

Flynn suggested that after Lance called JM a slut she decided to accuse his brother of rape.

"When his brother starts trash talking you you're going to get back at him," said Flynn. "You're going to say he raped you."

"Your interests of your reputation meant more to you than falsely accusing Mr. Wagar."

The line of questioning put to the alleged victim by Wagar's lawyer over the course of more than four hours is concerning to the legal director of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).

"This sort of victim-blaming in cross-examination is a big part of why survivors of sexual assault so rarely report to the police," said Kim Stanton.

"The fact that this young woman is being subjected to this difficult cross-examination yet again shows considerable courage on her part."

Lethbridge assistant chief Judge Jerry LeGrandeur is presiding over the trial, likely to avoid any conflict for Calgary-based judges who would have worked with Camp. (Janice Fletcher)

'Let's get this over with' 

Earlier in the trial, court heard evidence that Alex pulled his pants down during the party and swung his penis around.

"Is it fair to say you were attracted to Alex when he dropped his pants?" asked Flynn.

"No," said JM, who earlier testified that she is attracted to women.

"You started having aggressive foreplay and then you had consensual sex?" asked Flynn.

"No we didn't," said JM. "He did sexually assault me."

Lethbridge assistant chief Judge Jerry LeGrandeur is presiding over the trial.

Once Flynn finished his cross-examination, prosecutor Janice Walsh asked JM to clarify why she didn't fight off her alleged attacker.

"I was being sexually assaulted," said JM.

"I was fearful, I was scared, he was so much bigger than me. Why would I attack him."

In her seventh hour of questioning for at a second trial, JM again denied fabricating the rape allegation.

"Why would I want to go through something like this if it wasn't real?"

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