Nfld. & Labrador

Happy Valley-Goose Bay man in court facing sex-related charges

A Happy Valley-Goose Bay is hearing the testimony from a 16 year old girl who alleges he sexually assaulted her and threatened her life in June of 2017.

Complainant was 14 years old at the time of the alleged incident

65-year-old Joseph Cooney is in court this week facing charges of sexual assault, sexual interference, uttering death threats and forcible confinement. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

A 65-year-old Happy Valley-Goose Bay man was in provincial court Wednesday, as the teenage girl who says he sexually assaulted her gave her testimony. 

Joseph Cooney, who has worked as a taxi driver in the community, is charged with sexual interference, sexual assault, uttering death threats and forcible confinement for an alleged incident in June 2017. 

The trial, which was set for three days this week, has been plagued by technical issues.

The defense lawyer in Wabush, an RCMP witness in Moncton and the complainant, who is testifying by video link from a separate room, all struggled to connect remotely. 

The girl, who was 14 at the time of the alleged incident, was able to give part of her testimony Wednesday. 

The testimony was given in a voir dire session, meaning the judge will now have to decide whether or not to allow it into evidence. 

The trial will continue Thursday, when the judge's ruling regarding the testimony is expected.

About the Author

Jacob Barker

Videojournalist

Jacob Barker reports on Labrador for CBC News from Happy Valley-Goose Bay.