A young woman victimized by indecent phone calls allegedly made by a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Officer has a clear memory of those calls, but had trouble recalling other facts during her testimony Tuesday in provincial court.
Sean Joseph Kelly, 45, is being tried on one count of making indecent phone calls on Oct. 17, 2012, and one count of mischief for allegedly making a statement that caused police to enter into an investigation of another person suspected of having committed an offence that person did not commit.
Kelly was placed on administrative duty after the initial investigation into the complaint by the RNC’s Professional Standards Division and has since been suspended without pay until his court matters are dealt with.
Crown attorney Vikas Khaladkar opened his case by asking Judge Wayne Gorman to order a publication ban on identifying the three complainants in the charges.
The complainant in the Oct. 17, 2012 charge before the court testified that, on the day in question, she showed up for work at a business in the downtown area of the city at 9:24 a.m. entered the building, turned on the lights and took her belongings to a back room.
Shortly after entering the building, the phone rang and as she picked it up noted a PPP on the phone, indicating the call was coming from a private number.
When she answered, a man whose voice she didn’t recognize told her he had watched her walk to work, knew she had a purple shirt on and that she was by herself.
She asked repeatedly who she was talking to and said the call lasted around three minutes.
“I really don’t want to remember the phone call in my head right now,” the woman replied when asked by Khaladkar to describe the call.
She repeated some of what she said earlier and said the man made reference to her breasts jiggling as she walked into the building.
That wasn’t the only call the woman got that day. After 11 a.m., she testified, the man called back and asked if she wanted to meet him.
Khaladkar asked the woman if there was any discussion of a sexual nature during the calls.
During the first, she said the man asked if he could get laid or have a blow job. The second call she wasn’t sure about. When asked how the incident affected her, the woman said she took a layoff from work.
“I hate Corner Brook,” she said.
As the woman appeared to get emotional, the judge asked if she needed a break and court was recessed for a few minutes. Upon return, Khaladkar continued to question her on the impact of the event.
Financially, she took a 70 per cent pay cut as she went from a regular paycheque to employment insurance. She said the call made her more careful, but less trusting and said she now won’t go out in public alone.
The woman also testified about an incident where a man entered her place of work, mumbled something and left quickly. She said that man’s voice was not the same as the one on the phone calls.
After questions on the calls, Khaladkar showed the woman a series of pictures from Google Earth showing the downtown area. The woman pointed out where she worked.
Kelly’s lawyer, Jamie Merrigan, had no issue with the ground-level pictures, but objected to an aerial photo being admitted as evidence. After a voir dire on the photo’s admissability, Gorman decided to allow it to be used.
On cross examination of the woman, Merrigan questioned the woman’s memory of the events. At times she appeared agitated as she replied, “I don’t know,” or “that was two years ago.”
The woman had earlier testified that her co-worker called the police after the first call, but Merrigan pointed out that her statement to police didn’t contain that information.
He also questioned the woman on whether she knew that it was his client who was being investigated by the police, and she answered yes.
She also admitted to going on Kelly’s Facebook page to see what he looked like.
As for following him around a local grocery store, the woman was emphatic in saying she didn’t follow him and that they were just in the same area of the store.
Merrigan asked her if she told police she wanted to hit him with a cart and she said, “Yes. I was angry.”
On questions of how she knew the person being investigated was Kelly, the woman maintained she learned it from the police.
Kelly’s trial is scheduled for two days, but today’s session will be taken up with a voir dire on the admissibility of evidence.
Kelly also faces a second charge of making indecent phone calls involving a different person, alleged to have taken place two days earlier on Oct. 15. The trial on that charge is scheduled for July 2.