Nova Scotia

Sexual assault trial of former SMU groundskeeper hears from nurse, police officers

A sexual assault nurse examiner testified Thursday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax that she found bruising, bite marks and signs of trauma on a young woman who reported being sexually assaulted in 2014.

WARNING: Some of the content in the story and live blog may be disturbing

Matthew Percy is shown outside a Halifax provincial court courtroom on June 19, 2018. (Brian MacKay/CBC)

A sexual assault nurse examiner testified Thursday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax that she found bruising, bite marks and signs of trauma on a young woman who reported being sexually assaulted in 2014.

Corinne Thompson was giving evidence at the trial of Matthew Percy, who is charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm in relation to an incident on the Dalhousie University campus on Dec. 6, 2014. The 36-year-old has pleaded not guilty and is being tried by judge alone in court.

Earlier this week, the complainant testified she clearly told Percy no as he violently sexually assaulted her. Now 24, the woman's name is protected by a publication ban.

She met Percy in downtown Halifax and they returned to her residence room after picking up late-night poutine. The complainant told the court she'd been drinking and there are parts of the night she doesn't recall, but she was adamant she remembers being assaulted.

The woman went to police on Dec. 8, 2014, two days after the alleged attack, who then took her to the hospital.

Thompson, who was one of two nurses who examined the complainant that night in hospital, said there was bruising visible on several parts of her body, including a large mark on her neck that appeared to include the bite marks.

"It was red, tender and approximately five centimetres by two centimetres," the registered nurse told the court.

Thompson recorded details about all the women's injuries, including a "bite mark pattern" on her lower back, bruising on her buttocks and signs that were indicative of trauma on her genitals.

The Crown introduced surveillance video of Matthew Percy leaving a Dalhousie University residence the morning of Dec. 6, 2014. He was eating poutine. (Nova Scotia Courts)

Earlier Thursday, two Halifax Regional Police constables testified that prior to the hospital visit, they spoke to the complainant at the detachment on Gottingen Street, where she went with two friends.

Both constables Colin Graves and Geoff McNamara described the complainant as emotional and told the court she was hunched over and cried at times while speaking about what happened.

Since they didn't have specific training to interview people reporting sexual assaults, the meeting wasn't recorded and they later typed up notes to pass along to the investigators in the sexual assault unit.

Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Peter Planetta, both officers agreed they didn't know how the complainant normally sat or behaved.

Planetta also brought up apparent inconsistencies between what McNamara remembers hearing and what the complainant told the court this week.

Percy's trial is scheduled to continue into next week in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. (Robert Short/CBC)

One of them was that McNamara wrote in his notes that the complainant referenced initially consenting to sex and being prevented from getting a condom. On Wednesday, the complainant told the court she wasn't entirely sure if she had consented to any sexual activity, but from what she remembered, she didn't consent. She also said she took out a condom, but Percy refused to use it.

She also testified that prior to picking up poutine, she and Percy grabbed a drink at the Toothy Moose after a friend that he'd been with left. McNamara made reference in his notes to the complainant saying all three of them went to the bar.

Crown prosecutor Rick Woodburn said he didn't want to have to recall the complainant to answer a question about that specific detail given that she doesn't live in Nova Scotia and the defence didn't ask her about it when she was on the stand.

The trial resumes Friday.

The CBC's Elizabeth McMillan live blogged from court. A warning, some of the details in the live blog may be disturbing.

This is the third sexual assault trial for Percy, who was convicted in 2018 of sexually assaulting another woman. He was acquitted in a separate sexual assault case that same year.

Percy faces another trial later this year for sexual assault causing bodily harm, choking to overcome resistance and assault in relation to an incident in 2013 involving a woman he knew.