Calgary

Woman testifies she was raped, beaten and burned with torch during 11-hour confinement

Unhappy with the sexual performance of the woman he is accused of drugging, beating and raping, ​Vasilios Georgopoulos tried to burn her, a Calgary judge was told Tuesday. WARNING: The details in this story are graphic, disturbing and could be triggering.

WARNING: The details in this story are graphic, disturbing and could be triggering

Vasilios (Billy) Georgopoulos is on trial for forcible confinement and sexual assault, accused of drugging, brutally beating and raping a woman in a hotel room for 11 hours. (Court exhibit)

Unhappy with the sexual performance of the woman he is accused of drugging, beating and raping, ​Vasilios (Billy) Georgopoulos pulled out a small torch and tried to burn her face, the alleged victim told a Calgary judge on Tuesday.

Georgopoulos, 39, is on trial sexual assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, unlawful confinement and uttering death threats.

The 49-year-old woman's identity is protected by a publication ban. With the Calgary police trauma dog by her side, she testified Tuesday, often through tears as she recalled the details of the ordeal.

Georgopoulos is accused of holding the woman in a hotel room for 11 hours on Oct. 4, 2017, while he physically and sexually attacked her over and over again.

His alleged victim testified that he tried to scare her into complying with his orders by telling her he was a killer and showing her a video he said depicted the murder.

In fact, Georgopoulos was charged in 2016 with manslaughter and accessory after the fact to murder for the November 2015 stabbing death of Alan Beach, 31. It happened outside a pub at the Village Mall in Red Deer. Georgopoulos ended up pleading guilty to a lesser charge of assault in 2017.

She testified she met Georgopoulos online and she agreed to meet him in an apartment-like hotel room.

She said they had two drinks together and had a sexual encounter which was, at first, consensual. 

But it quickly turned dark.

The witness said Georgopoulos began punching her in the face and head while she performed oral sex on him. She said he repeatedly called her a "fat pig."

Then, she said, he raped her anally. That happened several times, she said.

"I told him to stop and that I needed to go and that he was hurting me," said the woman.

She said she sobbed and begged him to let her go. 

Death threats

The woman told prosecutor Zailin Lakhoo that Georgopoulos threatened to kill her, her mother and children if she reported him to police.​​​​​​

She said he told her to "shut up and stop crying" and put his hand over her mouth to muffle her cries. 

When she begged him to let her go, he told her she had to calm down first.

The woman said she started to feel woozy and sick to her stomach while she tried to breathe the way he instructed. 

She began to believe she'd been drugged.

On Monday, a toxicologist testified GHB — known as a date-rape drug — was found in the woman's system.

Woman was burned with small torch

The witness said Georgopoulos led her to another room, where the assaults continued. Along the way, she had lost some control of her body and bounced off the walls in the hallway before flopping onto the bed, she recalled.

In the second bedroom, she said, Georgopoulos forced her to give him oral sex while he punched her in the face.

She said she was in and out of consciousness.

That's when the small torch came out, said the woman. 

Georgopoulos, she said, lit the flame and brought it to her face. She said he burned her wrist as she defended her face from the torch.

The escape 

Soon after, she began vomiting and urinating. At that point, Georgopoulos stepped away, into another room, according to the witness. 

That's when she made a break for it, running out the door and into an elevator, she said.

Once in the lobby, the woman tried to have the desk clerk dial 911 but he called a taxi instead. The woman said she cabbed to her mother's apartment, told her what had happened and they called police, who brought her to hospital.

The same clerk would later tell police that the room was unoccupied.

Within hours, a police detective assigned to the case showed up at the hotel room where the victim said she had been held. 

Det. Rick Woo knocked on the door. Georgopoulos answered and Woo took his photo, court heard.

Defence lawyer Dale Fedorchuk will cross-examine the witness on Wednesday.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Alan Macleod is presiding over the week-long trial.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary crime reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary. If you have a good story idea or tip, you can reach her at meghan.grant@cbc.ca or on Twitter at @CBCMeg.

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