‘He saved me that day’: woman says young son helped stop rape attempt

Saskatchewan Provincial Court in Prince Albert. -- Herald File Photo

Warning: this story contains details of an alleged sexual assault

A Prince Albert woman testified against the father of her children Thursday, saying he tried to rape her after she ended their relationship.

The complainant, who cannot be named under a publication ban, said the man only stopped soon after their child – a boy less than two years of age – came between them.

“He’s my gift,” she said of her son. “He saved me that day.”

The alleged sexual assault stems from February of this year. Tensions broke out between the on-again-off-again couple, when the complainant spotted a woman standing by their neighbour’s yard. She said she believed her boyfriend had been involved with that woman in the past.

The two women got to talking. It wasn’t entirely clear what they discussed, but the complainant decided she’d had enough.

“‘I’m sick of him,’ I said that to her,” the complainant testified. “‘You can have him, here’s all his clothes.’”

She told the court that the man disappeared. She began boarding up her bathroom window, where she said he’d broken in during past rifts. They sent each other text messages, and she told him it was over.

But the man had been in her house all along.

“All of a sudden, at about 11 30 (p.m.), he comes up from the basement, which shocked me and scared me,” she said. “He comes right over to where I’m sitting on the armchair, standing over me, intimidating me. He grabs my phone. He starts looking through my phone. He starts getting mad.”

She said she tried to leave, and that he wouldn’t let her go. Eventually, she managed to get upstairs. The man came along.

“He starts touching me,” she said. “He’s grabbing my butt. I say ‘don’t, I don’t want to have sex. You just had some girl, your girlfriend, come here. I don’t want you to touch me.’”

She said he kept grabbing her, and she pushed him away. He kept trying to have sex with her, according to her testimony, but eventually gave up and went downstairs.

It wasn’t long before he returned, the complainant told the court, and this time things quickly escalated.

“He comes upstairs with no pants on,” she said. “He starts saying that ‘you’re my woman and I’m going to have you.’

“I say no, this is my body. I don’t have to let you,” she continued. “And then he begins to pull my hair, punch me on my arm, down my sides. He was covering my mouth, putting his body weight on me so I can barely breathe.”

She said the man was still trying to have sex with her, but she resisted, and began to yell and scream.

That’s when their son, 17 or 18 months old, walked into the room – according to her account. She said he began to cry, like he was scared, but also hungry. So she began nursing the child. But the man still persisted, she said.

“He was still trying to get between my legs, and I put (the child’s) legs in between mine to cover,” she said. “He’s pinching my legs and he’s saying ‘I’m not done with you yet.’

“He said put baby down. But I refused to put him down.

“I’m scared that he’s going to hurt me and (the child). I’m afraid that he’s going to punch and kick me in the face, because that’s the only place that’s not covered.”

The man soon calmed down, and laid down on the bed. She said he started expressing suicidal thoughts, and even mentioned a plan to jump off a building. He also said that his money was going to cocaine, according to her testimony. After talking, they went to sleep. She went to police the next day.

Her visit to the police produced a video statement and photographs of her injuries. She was covered with bruises on her arms, thighs and back. She also had a gash on her forehead.

In his testimony, the man admitted he grappled with the complainant. He told the court that he grabbed her arms and hit her in the thighs. In fact, the man’s account of that day matched hers almost exactly, until he got to what happened in that room.

He said he was trying to talk to her, but she “wasn’t listening.” He tried to roll her over. They began to argue, he testified.

“We started fighting. She got on top of me,” he said. “She was yelling at me, calling me an asshole, a cheater. She started slapping me. She slapped me a couple times and she put her hand on my neck with one hand.”

He said she punched him in the head. He moved to block her blows, according to his account, and then hit her thighs and grabbed her arms. He said he did it to get her to stop.

But he denied he ever tried to rape her, and stressed that he didn’t cause the cut on her face.

“I don’t know how that happened,” he said. “I was thinking like she was wearing her ring or something and she cut her head.”

The man admitted he was angry that day. He said he believed the complainant was cheating on him. That’s why he was looking through her phone, he told the court.

For more on this story, see the Tuesday, November 14 print or e-edition of the Prince Albert Daily Herald.