Prince Albertan sentenced to two years for sexual assault in Alberta court

A headshot of Matthew Meyer as a member of the U of S Huskies volleyball team. -- University of Saskatchewan Huskies volleyball website

Volleyball player Matthew Meyer dressed most recently for U of S Huskies team

Peggy Revell, Medicine Hat News

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A former Medicine Hat Rattlers college volleyball player was sentenced Monday to two years in custody and three years probation after pleading guilty to sexual assault on a fellow student who had passed out at a party, and taking photos throughout the incident.

The former player is Matthew Alan Meyer, of Prince Albert, who attended high school in the city.

Surrounded by family and friends, the young woman read her victim impact statement into the record, speaking about how she is still traumatized over the incident which took place on Jan. 17, 2016.

“I believe that I am speaking for everyone who never had the chance,” she said, talking about the loss she and her family have gone through, and how she grew up without fear — but became afraid to leave her house because she couldn’t bear to see people who “knew” what happened to her.

As well, she spoke about how severely depressed she became, even attempting suicide when not-guilty pleas were originally entered by the accused.

Meyer — who was 18 at the time of the incident — apologized to the victim and her family for his actions, with defence counsel stating he is “truly remorseful,” and taking responsibility by pleading guilty.

According to the agreed statement of facts, the victim had attended a house party with a friend, held at the MHC residence, where Meyer lived.

She consumed alcohol to the point that she was blacking out, and her friend laid her down on the living room couch to sleep.

She awoke early the next morning to the accused being on top of her, touching her, masturbating, and penetrating her with his fingers and penis, all without her consent. She recognized the sound of the cell phone taking pictures, and pretended to be asleep as she was afraid of what the person would do to her if he found out she was awake.

After the accused left the room, she had a friend pick her up, went to her mother’s house, contacted police, and then went to the hospital for a sexual assault examination.

Police attended the Medicine Hat College residence, and the accused was identified as one of the tenants. He told police he had kissed the victim earlier, that they may have done other things, and he may have taken photos of her. Upon arrest, he gave a statement to police admitting what happened.

A forensic analysis of the accused’s cellphone found 147 distinct images — some taken from the incident which the complainant woke up to, but others from an earlier assault against her that took place just after 1:30 a.m., when she was passed out.

Meyer was a first-year university transfer student from Prince Albert, in the Rattlers program, but left the college voluntarily after the charges were laid. He has been free on bail since the incident, residing in Saskatchewan. Part of his sentence includes taking courses on sexual assault prevention.