Thursday April 17, 2014





Accused man testifies he has no memory of night of alleged sex assault

A 20-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a woman while she slept off a booze and cocaine fueled binge testified Wednesday that he “blacked out” from drinking and has no memory of events that night.

But Kyle Yamelst, testifying in his own defence in B.C. Supreme court, said he is certain the sexual assault “didn’t happen.”

“The only time I woke up was in the laundry room,” he said of the morning hours of Dec. 30, 2010.

“I would have remembered something like that — I’ve grown up right.”

On Monday and Tuesday the woman whose name is protected by court order testified she’d gone to bed with a longtime friend in a basement bedroom of a Spences Bridge home after drinking and doing cocaine. The two had sex and fell asleep.

Her friend left some time later. She said she dressed and went back to sleep.

She was awakened later by a “pressure” on top of her, soon realizing a man she identified as Yamelst was having sexual intercourse with her.

She testified she was confused and scared and didn’t fight back. A sense of shame that she didn’t fight or yell — and said nothing in the direct aftermath — kept her from going forward to police until more than a month later.

Yamelst testified he often has complete memory loss when he drinks heavily, relying on friends to keep him safe and out of trouble. He said he remembers only drinking until closing time Dec. 29 at Lytton bar.

His next recollection was being woken up by a friend sometime around mid-morning the next day in a laundry room at the basement of his home in order to go to Kelowna the next morning.

Yamelst’s brother, Jordan, testified his brother sleeps off drinking binges for as long as 13 hours and is “impossible” to wake up — making the supposed attack on the woman improbable.

He would have also had to step over his sleeping brother in the same room.

Kyle Yamelst did recall a frantic search for his bag of clothes, as well as his brother, in the early daylight hours. He went from room to room, including into the room where he said the woman was sleeping naked. He said he quickly left and closed the door behind him.

Crown prosecutor Chris Balison focused much of his cross examination on Yamelst’s memory, suggesting he cannot deny the attack because he has no recollection either way.

“You’re so drunk you don’t know what you’re doing, right?”  Balison said. “I suggest you did go into the room . . . and had intercourse with her. That’s entirely possible, isn’t it?”

The 12-person jury is expected to start its deliberations as early as Thursday afternoon.


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