Prince George sex assault trial continues
Two very different versions of the truth have emerged at the sexual assault trial of a man accused of raping a 14-year-old girl on a May 2009 camping trip while friends slept just metres away.
Nathan Constantine McNamara, then 24, is accused of sexual assault, sexual interference, unlawful confinement and uttering threats. His B.C. Supreme Court trial opened last week in Prince George and is being heard by judge alone.
A routine ban guards against publication of any information that might identify the girl.
Now 16, the girl testified last week that she went camping with friends to Chubb Lake, about 100 kilometres south of Prince George, where her group met up with another friend, who was camping with the accused.
The girl said the two groups spent most of the evening talking around a shared campfire and she did not notice McNamara paying her any undue attention until he asked her to accompany him to the nearby outhouse.
She said McNamara seemed drunk, so she agreed to help him find his way there in the dark.
“I didn’t want him to fall or anything like that. I’m a really nice person, that’s what I do.”
On the way back to camp, however, the girl said McNamara stopped and asked her if she was a virgin, to which she replied, “yes.”
“And then he asked me if I was planning on losing it anytime soon,” she told the court, adding she was made uncomfortable by the question.
Later in the evening, the girl said she began heading back to her own campsite to go to bed, when the accused grabbed her and pulled her into his tent as she walked by.
She said she struggled, but eventually relented and agreed to stay and talk, which they did for about 20 minutes. However, the girl testified that McNamara then became physical and forced himself on her, having unprotected intercourse against her will.
“I was just trying to get him off me.... I said ‘stop’ numerous times,” she recalled.
And although there were other people in tents nearby, the girl said she never yelled for help because, “I was just really in shock. I didn’t know what to do.”
The girl said McNamara warned her before she left his tent that if she told anyone what had happened “that he was going to do something about it.”
But according to McNamara, it was the girl who told him to keep the affair quiet.
In a statement he gave to police, McNamara admitted that he had sex with the girl, but said he thought she was 17 because other people there were at least that old. He also contended it was she who initiated contact outside the outhouse.
“She wasn’t there to use the bathroom. I can tell you that much,” he said.
He went on to say the pair “kissed around a bit,” then headed back to camp, and later, the two “wrestled around in the tent for a bit, then things got more serious,” he said, adding it was consensual sex that followed.
“If she really didn’t want to, she could have... said she didn’t want to and that would have been it.”
On her way out of the tent, the girl then asked him not to tell anyone what happened, said McNamara, who was shocked by the other allegations.
“I don’t know where the rest of this is coming from,” he said.
The court has been shown photos of the girl that appear to show bruising on her upper chest, although McNamara told police the only injury he could have inflicted was a hickey on her neck.
The statement was played Monday in court. Defence counsel Jon Duncan said earlier he would challenge the admissibility of it based on Charter issues.
In his cross-examination of the girl last week, Duncan suggested her actions prove she was a willing participant.
“After you had been creeped out by this guy earlier in the night, you were content to talk to him in his tent?” he asked.
She was scared, the girl replied, but “not freaking out.”
The girl also denied Duncan’s assertion that she only reported the rape to her mother and police because she was afraid she would become pregnant.
One of the alleged victim’s friends testified earlier in the trial that she told someone at the campsite, “We’re old enough to be here,” when asked their ages earlier in the night.
The trial was scheduled to continue Tuesday, then resume for four days in early May.