Complainant questioned over consent at Gee-Gees sexual assault trial

The lawyer for one of two former University of Ottawa hockey players on trial for sexual assault went after the credibility of the complainant in court on Monday, suggesting she had only changed her story to protect her reputation.

WARNING: This story includes graphic details some readers may find disturbing

David Foucher, left, and Guillaume Donovan, right, walk into the Thunder Bay courthouse on Feb. 12, 2018. Both are accused of sexually assaulting a woman during a road trip to Thunder Bay by the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, who they used to play for. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

WARNING: This story includes graphic details from testimony heard in court that some readers may find disturbing.

The lawyer for one of two former University of Ottawa hockey players on trial for sexual assault went after the complainant's credibility Monday, suggesting she changed her story to protect her reputation.

Guillaume Donovan and David Foucher are facing sexual assault charges related to an incident that allegedly happened at a hotel in Thunder Bay, Ont. in February 2014, when the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees hockey team was in Thunder Bay for a game.

The identity of the complainant is protected by a publication ban, which also prevents CBC News from naming some of the witnesses. 

'That did not happen'

The complainant told the court that on the night of Feb. 1, she met a Gee-Gee hockey player through the Tinder dating app and consented to have sex with him at his hotel room.

At some point during the encounter, she testified two other men appeared in the room and forced themselves on her, while at least one other man watched.

Christian Deslauriers, the lawyer representing Donovan, questioned her version of events during cross-examination on Monday.

He suggested she had consented to participate in a threesome — with her original partner and another man who entered the room.

Donovan's lawyer suggested that when she signalled to the other man that she did not want to continue, he turned on the light and let her leave.

"That did not happen," the complainant said.

She repeatedly and forcefully rejected the defence lawyer's suggestions as he ran through the scenario.

Donovan's lawyer suggested she was angry and embarrassed by the circumstances she had found herself in and that she eventually pursued charges to clear her name.

"No," she said.

Donovan's lawyer said the complainant had lied to the friend who picked her up at the hotel on the night in question — describing a group of men forcing themselves on her — because she was embarrassed.

The complainant responded she had never told her friend those things, and if her friend had said them, then she was lying.

Text messages questioned

Earlier Monday morning, Donovan's lawyer questioned her over her communication with the trial's first witness, the Gee-Gee who she first met through the dating app that night.

He repeatedly asked if the complainant tried to co-ordinate her statements to police with that witness, which she denied.

He then presented the complainant with pages of photocopied text messages she had exchanged with the first witness in February and March of 2014, in the months after the incident. The messages were obtained during cross-examination of the first witness last week.

The messages showed the first witness suggesting she tell police her friend had blown the incident out of proportion and had been wrong about the incident, Donovan's lawyer said. 

In one of the messages the lawyer read in court, the complainant told the first witness she would take his suggestions, that she would say "those exact words," that it was a "promise" and she would talk "as minimally as possible." 

The complainant said at that point it would be fair to say she had been trying to keep police out of the situation.

Complainant felt 'angry and betrayed' at friend

In her previous testimony, the complainant had said she was reluctant to go to police and did not tell them the truth immediately because she felt "angry and betrayed" that her friend had gone forward.

Donovan's lawyer also used the text messages to establish that the first witness and complainant had exchanged a handful of phone calls. The complainant had previously said she only remembered two calls with him.

She also told police when she went to give a statement for a third time in April 2014 that she had not been truthful with police because she felt "extremely embarrassed."

The complainant's testimony will continue for a fourth day on Tuesday, when the lawyer representing David Foucher will begin her cross-examination of the woman.

CBC Ottawa's Matthew Kupfer is in Thunder Bay covering the trial. You can review his live tweets here.