Saturday April 19, 2014





Spences Bridge man convicted of sexual assault

A jury convicted a 20-year-old Spences Bridge man Saturday in the sexual assault of a young woman.

Kyle Yamelst was found guilty of a single count of sexual assault for an incident Dec. 30, 2010, in the basement of a home on the Cook's Ferry Indian reserve.

Yamelst remains free until his sentencing hearing in B.C. Supreme Court. A date for that hearing will be set later this month.

The jury made its decision at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. It began its deliberations early Friday afternoon.

Jurors reviewed about six hours of evidence via tape recording as part of their decision making.

The jury found that Yamelst had sexual intercourse with a 29-year-old woman who was sleeping off the effects of drinking and doing cocaine. Both Yamelst and the woman were at the same party.

The woman battled tears when she testified during the five-day trial. She told court she awoke to find Yamelst on top of her, having sexual intercourse with her. She turned away in fear and passed out. When she awoke, he was sleeping beside her.

The woman, who cannot be named due to a court order, didn't report the sexual assault to police until more than a month later. She told the jury she was ashamed she didn't fight back.

The defence focused its case on identity, casting doubt on whether Yamelst was the man who sexually assaulted the woman. Yamelst said he frequently suffers memory loss when he drinks heavily. He said he had no recollection of the  party or events in the morning. But he did state he did not sexually assault the sleeping woman.


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