Saturday August 30, 2014

Identity the key in sex assault trial

'I’m going to suggest you’re unsure who was in bed with you'

The defence lawyer acting for Kyle Yamelst — accused of sexually assaulting a woman while she was sleeping off the effects of a drunken party — questioned whether she identified the right man.

Yamelst is on trial for sexual assault in B.C. Supreme Court.

His lawyer, Don Campbell, focused his cross examination Tuesday on whether the woman, whose name is protected by a court order, was certain it was Yamelst who was on top of her in the early morning hours of Dec. 20, 2010.

“I’m going to suggest you’re unsure who was in bed with you or who you saw,” Campbell told her.

After a long night of drinking and cocaine, Campbell told her “it’s difficult to say 100 per cent what happened.

“Is that fair?”

But the woman, now 29, said she is certain she saw Yamelst’s face above her head as she woke up, before turning in shame and fear and then “blacking out” as he sexually assaulted her.

When she awoke later in the daylight hours, amid a darkened bedroom with the window curtain drawn, she again saw Yamelst sleeping half-naked beside her. She got up, but said nothing to her friends in the aftermath.

The two were strangers who met at a house party in Spences Bridge, where Yamelst lived, attended by about 10 people.

The woman did not report the episode to police until five weeks later.

Yamelst, who is in his early 20s, watched from the box in the centre of the courtroom, occasionally taking notes using his bench as a writing surface.

The woman struggled through tears in much of her testimony on Monday and Tuesday.

But she was steadfast that it was Yamelst who had unwanted sex with her as she was asleep in a basement bedroom.

“I know that was Kyle Yamelst,” she said twice in a row.

The Crown is scheduled to complete its evidence Wednesday.

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