Nfld. & Labrador

No verdict yet in Doug Snelgrove sexual assault trial, as jury adjourns for day

The jury which is deciding the fate of a police officer accused of sexual assault has finished their first day of deliberations.

Issue of consent key in reaching verdict, Justice Valerie Marshall tells jurors

Judge Valerie Marshall is presiding over the Supreme Court trial of Carl Douglas Snelgrove, accused of sexual assault. (Glenn Payette/CBC)

A jury deliberating the fate of a police officer charged with sexual assault has finished its first day of deliberations without reaching a decision. 

The jury in Carl Douglas Snelgrove's trial will continue its work on Friday. It started Thursday afternoon.

Snelgrove, a 10-year veteran of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, is waiting for the verdict on charges he sexually assaulted a woman after driving her home in a police cruiser. He was on duty at the time. 

The court case against the officer was handed over to the jury for deliberations after instructions from Justice Valerie Marshall Thursday morning.

Jurors asked Marshall for clarification on a number of points Thursday.

The jury asked for a list of peer-reviewed papers that were published by an expert on alcohol-induced blackouts who testified at trial, and a dictionary.

After both requests were denied, they asked for the definition of the word "adduced."

The trial, which has been ongoing for the last two weeks, has centred on whether the complainant consented to sex after Snelgrove, 38, drove her home in a police cruiser and helped her get into her basement apartment in December 2014.

The trial of Carl Douglas Snelgrove will go to jury on Thursday, after instructions from the judge. (CBC)

During her instructions to the jury prior to deliberations, Marshall emphasized that Snelgrove can only be found guilty if he used force that was sexual in nature without her consent.

She said Snelgrove has admitted that since there was sex with the woman, the jury will need to decide whether she consented or not, or was in a position to give consent, and whether the RNC officer knew she didn't or couldn't consent.

The complainant, who was 21 at the time of the alleged assault, has testified she was drinking before and after going downtown, and can't remember agreeing to sex.

Snelgrove testified the woman invited him in and initiated sex.

Marshall said the Crown must show that the woman didn't consent or that she was so drunk that she could not consent.

With files from Glenn Payette