Calgary

'She was compliant': Alexander Wagar testifies in own defence at sex assault trial

Alexander Wagar says he never got explicit consent to have sex with the woman he is accused of raping, but insists she was 'compliant.' The Calgary man, controversially acquitted by Alberta Judge Robin Camp, is testifying in his own defence after a retrial was ordered.

Warning: Story contains coarse language and distressing details

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

Alexander Wagar said he never got explicit consent to have sex with the woman he is accused of raping, but insists the encounter was consensual.

"I just went for it," said Wagar.

The 29-year-old is charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in the bathroom at a party in 2011.

He was acquitted in 2014 by controversial Alberta Provincial Court Judge Robin Camp. During that trial, Camp asked why the victim hadn't done more to prevent the attack. That, and other inappropriate comments, led to the Alberta Court of Appeal to overturn the acquittal and order a new trial.

Implied consent, Wagar testifies

Wagar's testimony in his own defence continued on Wednesday under cross-examination by prosecutor Janice Walsh.

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.

"She never said no," said Wagar.

"But she never said yes?" asked prosecutor Janice Walsh.

"She never said yes directly," Wagar confirmed.

But when Wagar told JM he didn't have a condom, she said "okay," according to his evidence.

Throughout his testimony, Wagar put on a performance — even demonstrating how he and JM had sex in the bathroom at the party.

Perched on the edge of the witness box, Wagar lifted his shirt, spread his legs and pushed his knees toward his chest.

Around the time of the alleged assault, Wagar and JM were both homeless, sometimes sleeping at shelters or crashing on friends' sofas.

In his testimony Wednesday, Wagar admitted he initiated all sexual contact, but said JM made eye contact, kissed him and complimented him.

"You didn't feel like you had to ask her, did you?" said Walsh.

"No, I didn't," said Wagar.

"If she would have made any sort of objection — I will swear on a Bible, I'm a Christian — if a woman says no, she means no, I would have stopped."

JM testified on Monday and Tuesday, telling the court the sex was not consensual and that she was raped. She said Wagar came into the bathroom after she'd been sick, complimented her and then told her he was going to "f--k" her.

"He rips my pants open, he pulls my pants down, puts me down on the bathroom counter," she said.

"I start to use my hands to push him away, I tell him he's hurting me, I tell him to stop. He just keeps going." 

'She never pushed me away'

But Wagar denied the allegations, calling them "bullshit."

Fresh off a stint in jail, he admitted he "wanted to get laid."

"At that time in your brain, you were determined to have sex with her?" asked Walsh.

"Yeah," said Wagar. "She never pushed me away, she never said stop ... she was compliant with me."

Wagar said he believes JM accused him of rape because his brother made fun of her, after walking in on them in the bathroom, making her feel "disrespected and used."​

Lethbridge Assistant Chief Judge Jerry LeGrandeur is presiding over the trial, in an effort to avoid any conflict for Calgary-based judges who would have worked with Camp.

Meanwhile, defence lawyer Pat Flynn is trying to locate two witnesses.

The trial will resume Thursday, with closing arguments likely to take place next week. 

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