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Drama in Stephenville court as complainant admits to false allegation concerning contact with accused

Provincial court in Stephenville on Wednesday.
Provincial court in Stephenville on Wednesday. - Frank Gale

There was some drama in provincial court in Stephenville on Wednesday as the alleged victim in a sexual assault case admitted to making false allegations against the accused in the case.

Continuing his cross-examination of the alleged victim, Mark Mills, defence lawyer for the accused teenage boy, asked the complainant if she had made false allegations by saying he had contacted her through Snapchat after she unblocked him from the social media site.

The alleged victim said she had, and her reason at the time for doing so was to avoid having to testify at the impending court hearing.

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The accused was on strict conditions not to have any contact with her.

She said the morning after she made the complaint at the Stephenville detachment of the RCMP, she emailed a female RCMP officer and copied the email to a second RCMP officer and notified them of the false statement. The arrest was still made.

“I didn’t think it all through, no,” the complainant told Mills of her action.

This is the first of three trials on sexual assault allegations against the Stephenville teenager, who was a student at Stephenville High School (also the school of all three of complainants).

The allegations rocked their school earlier in the school year and students there pushed the province to update its safety policies because the student remained in the school for some time after the charges were laid.

The teenager, whose identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has pleaded not guilty to all charges in court.

Crown prosecutor Susan Gallant, reacting to some of the cross-examination by Mills, asked the complainant for some clarification of a statement that she was aware of the fact that she could say no during the alleged sexual assault.

She said she wasn’t really sure if she was aware she could and was afraid she would be hurt if she didn’t have sex. She said she didn’t have a way home, and didn’t feel she could say no and everything would be OK.

Taking the stand on Wednesday, the mother of the alleged victim told the court she had been through a lot with her daughter in the past couple of months. She said she had advised her at one point that it was time to say what was going on and it was a couple of days later that she contacted the RCMP to tell them what happened.

Records released by Judge Lynn Cole after The Canadian Press applied to the provincial court say charges in this case include sexual assault, forcible confinement and using a "stupefying or overpowering drug” to help commit sexual assault.

The alleged attack took place last October at or near Stephenville.

Again on Wednesday, the alleged victim appeared in court via teleconference from a different room in the building.

The accused is facing two other trials relating to sexual assaults, set for later this month and August in Stephenville.

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