Nfld. & Labrador

Sex was consensual, tearful police officer tells sexual assault trial

The cop accused of sexually assaulting a woman after giving her a ride home testified Monday that he believed she was fully consenting and not drunk.

Warning: Details in this story may be disturbing to some readers

Const. Carl Douglas Snelgrove was emotional as he took the stand at Supreme Court in St. John's on Monday, giving his account of what happened the night he's accused of sexually assaulting a woman. (Glenn Payette/CBC)

The police officer accused of sexually assaulting a woman after giving her a ride home in his cruiser testified Monday that he believed she was fully consenting and not drunk.

Const. Carl Douglas Snelgrove, a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer who is charged with sexual assault, cried on the witness stand in Supreme Court in St. John's Monday. 

Snelgrove told a jury that he had sex with the woman after taking her to her apartment, and alleged that the woman made an advance toward him after he brought her home.

Const. Carl Douglas Snelgrove with his lawyer, Randy Piercey, in Supreme Court on Feb. 20. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer is on trial for sexual assault. (Glenn Payette/CBC)

The Crown maintains Snelgrove, an on-duty police officer who is also married, sexually assaulted the woman after she had spent a night of drinking that culminated at a bar in downtown St. John's.

The woman testified last week that she cannot remember much about the evening, and that she came to while Snelgrove was having sex with her. 

Did not call incident in

Snelgrove, who told the court he has given rides home to both men and women over the past 10 years, said he did not call in this particular incident when he agreed to give the woman a lift home. 

Snelgrove testified that he noticed a smell of alcohol when the woman got in his car, but did not hear slurred speech. He added that he felt she was coherent. 

After they arrived at the apartment, though, the woman found she did not have a key. Snelgrove said he was able to help the woman get into her own home through a window. 

Once inside she opened the door, he said, and then invited him in, and soon after kissed him. He said he kissed her in return. He said she took off her top and pants, undid his pants and performed oral sex on him.

He said he helped take off more of her clothes, and that he asked her what she liked. He told the court that she replied, "Everything." 

He said he asked if he could have anal sex with her, and she said yes. Snelgrove said he had vaginal sex with her, prior to anal sex.

Snelgrove told the court he didn't use a condom, and didn't ask if she was on birth control, because he is unable to have children.

He told the court that he believed the woman was aware of everything while it happened. 

Describing the incident, Snelgrove testified that he had disrespected both his wife and the RNC. 

Says woman asked for ride home

On the night of the alleged sexual assault, Snelgrove said he was in the downtown area of St. John's because he had taken a drunk person to the overnight lockup, in the lower level of Supreme Court.

He testified that he was in his car typing up the report into that matter when a woman walking on Water Street approached his car and asked for a ride home. 

Snelgrove said he didn't notice anything wrong with her, and she said she lived close by, so he agreed to give her a ride home.

Snelgrove's testimony wrapped up shortly before 1 p.m. Monday, ending the case for the day. Another defence witness will take the stand on Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday, the court heard from a witness who was with the complainant the night of the alleged sexual assault.

The witness said Dec. 20, 2014 — the night of the alleged assault — was the first time she met the complainant.

She told the court she was drinking beer and was "pretty out of it" and decided to go downtown, where she bought rounds of tequila. The witness said she didn't know what state the complainant was in.

With files from Glenn Payette