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Port aux Basques man testifies he used Snapchat for sexting


The contents of Snapchat interactions between a Port aux Basques man and a young girl stand out to him because of the torture the last two years of his life have been.

Those were the words the young man used as he replied to questions by Crown prosecutor Trina Simms under cross-examination at his sexual assault jury trial in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in Corner Brook on Wednesday morning.

The 23-year-old man is accused of having sex with the girl on June 1, 2015.

There is a publication ban in place to protect the identity of the alleged victim who was 12 at the time. The man was 21.

The sex as consensual, but the legal age of consent is 16. The man contends he believed the girl was between 18 and 25 when they had sex.

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Port aux Basques man on trial in Corner Brook for sexual assault

When asked why their interactions, as opposed to the numerous others he’d had, stood out, the man said it was because of the relevance they would have in his life and that many of them occurred over about a two-week period before the night of the alleged assault.

Snapchap is a social media app that enables people to communicate by way of messaging and the sharing of pictures.

During questioning by his lawyer, Beverley Marks, the man said he used the app to engage in sexting — sending sexually explicit photos or messages — with women, some he knew and others he didn’t.

Unlike Facebook, he knew the lasting imprint could be controlled more with Snapchat —accounts can’t be searched by name, people often use vanity names for their username, you need to know someone’s username to add them and photos that are sent disappear within a preset time.

At some point he accepted a friend request from his alleged victim and communicated with her over four or five months. He said he only knew her by the vanity name she used and in the pictures she shared she appeared to be the same age as the rest of the girls he sexted with.

On the night of the alleged sexual assault the two engaged in a sexting conversation on Snapchat and later agreed to meet up to have sex.

He again said at no point did he know she was under 16.

Her age came up several days later when people started to message him asking him about sleeping with a younger girl.

When he found out she was in Grade 7 he was thoroughly appalled and upset at what had occurred.

If he had known she was under 16, he said he never would have added her on Snapchat.

Cross-examination of the man continued in the afternoon.

The defence and Crown are to make their summations in the case this morning and Justice George Murphy plans to charge the jury in the afternoon.

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