Friday April 18, 2014





Woman tells of alleged sex assault

Court told she woke up after night of partying to find man on top of her

Living away from home for the first time, the 18-year-old woman, boozy after a bottle of wine, kicked out a party-goer from her new apartment, set her alarm to work the next day and went to bed.

Prosecutor Joel Gold told a 12-person jury in B.C. Supreme Court Monday that when the woman woke up, her neighbour, Kenneth Tomma, was on top of her, having sex with her.

Tomma faces charges of sexual assault and break and enter with intent. The name of the woman who made accusations of sexual assault is protected under Canadian law.

Gold outlined what he said were circumstances in the early morning hours of Oct. 23, 2010.

Workers at a Shuswap restaurant who lived in an apartment complex, were socializing and drinking on a Friday night at the end of the tourist season, a going-away party for some of them. The woman “drank a bottle of wine,” said Gold.

“At the end of the evening, she was drunk. She asked people to leave (her room), went to bed and set the alarm.”

The 18-year-old intended to work at the resort for the winter season. She had been sharing a room with other workers in a bachelor apartment, but moved one night before the alleged assault into her own room.

“I was excited about having my own place,” she said. “I’d never had my own place.”

Earlier that day, she testified she was arranging her books and crafts in her new room, when Tomma opened her door and walked in unannounced. The two were little more than neighbours, she said.

“My door swung open and Kenny was there. I guess it was normal, but not really.”

Tomma, who she described as being in his 40s or 50s, also lived at the apartment and the two had chatted briefly in past. She said they exchanged a few words and Tomma left.

The employees, including Tomma, socialized until about midnight. The woman decided to go to bed in her own apartment because she worked early the next morning. She said she only spoke a few words with Tomma that night, nothing of substance.

Some time later, Gold told the jury “when she realized she was awake, there was someone on top of her and having intercourse with her.”

The man said nothing to her.

“She comes to the realization what’s going on. She tells him to stop. She goes to the bathroom and tells him to leave.”

Gold said that man was Tomma. Identity is not expected to be an issue. Instead, the trial will turn on whether the woman consented to having sex.

The woman went to see her friends next door and they reported the incident to RCMP.

She is expected to resume her testimony Tuesday morning, when she will recount what happened in her room when she awoke.

On Monday, she testified she didn’t lock her door because she knew and trusted everyone in the complex.


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