Former Sudbury track coach David Case and one of his athletes, Celine Loyer, were found guilty March 5 of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman at Case's home in 2011.
Justice Patricia Hennessy, who presided over the case, delivered a lengthy verdict Thursday morning, finding Loyer guilty of sexual assault in the case and Case guilty of sexual assault by aiding and abetting.
Loyer wept after receiving the verdict, while Case showed no emotion, although he comforted Loyer after the proceedings by touching her shoulder. A date for sentencing will be set March 17.
At the trial in January, the victim, who cannot be named under a publication ban, testified she met Case and Loyer at the downtown Sudbury restaurant where she worked.
On the date of the sexual assault, June 17, 2011, the victim was invited to dinner with the defendants at Case's home. She attended the dinner alone, as her partner was working.
The victim testified that during the course of the evening, she consumed a strong beer and later a shot of alcohol that was poured by Case. It was after consuming this shot she said she lost awareness of her surroundings.
The next memory she had was being dropped off at her home around 1:30 a.m. June 18 by Case and Loyer.
She testified she had difficulty negotiating the stairs down to her basement apartment, and was met by her partner at the time, who had to change her and put her to bed.
At some point that night, the woman said she had a flashback about what happened during the four-hour window when she was passed out. She remembered laying on her back on the floor of Case's home. Loyer was between her legs, molesting the woman's genitals, and Case was at sitting near her head, telling Loyer what to do.
The victim told the court she was never interested in having sex with either Case or Loyer, and that any sexual activity took place while she was incapacitated and without her consent.
Given the flashback, bruises resembling fingerprints on her thighs, as well as the fact that she felt very ill the next day, her loved ones told her to report the incident to police and go to the hospital for a rape kit.
After the incident, Case and Loyer denied the sexual assault, saying that they had all had a lot to drink, and that the victim had started kissing Loyer and tried to get into Case's pants.
The complainant was adamant she had only had two drinks, and called herself a “seasoned drinker” with a high tolerance for alcohol, and she had never felt or acted like that before.
During her verdict, Hennessy focused on the complainant's flashback, saying that she found her testimony to be credible.
Although the scenario of the sexual assault came to the victim in a flashback, Hennessy said a flashback is a type of memory.
She said the woman's story “did not change over time,” and she shared the flashback with her partner and her coworker spontaneously and “nearly contemporaneously” to the event.
The woman had said in previous interviews she'd had up to four drinks that night. But Hennessy said she did not find the alternate scenario proposed by the defence (that the victim had gotten drunk and had become sexually aggressive toward Case and Loyer) to be “reasonable.”
Hennessy came to this conclusion due to the victim's high alcohol tolerance and her ill health the next day compared to previous reactions to over-drinking.
She said she is also satisfied that the bruises documented on the woman's body were caused by the sexual assault — not by banging into tables at the restaurant where she worked, as the defence had suggested — and the physical evidence confirms “the sexual assault was not a dream.”
Hennessy said she is also satisfied “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the victim had not consented to sexual activity that evening.
In terms of Case aiding and abetting Loyer in the sexual assault, Hennessy said Case set up the entire evening from beginning to end.
He poured the shot that intoxicated the woman, and was placed “as close as he could” be — near her head — during the assault.
She said the victim testified Case seemed to speak for Loyer, who did not live with Case, but instead with her parents.
Case is back in court next week. He also recently stood trial for five charges, including sexual assault and assault, related to alleged incidents in the 1980s and 1990s involving a woman he was eventually secretly married to.
A decision in that case is expected to be delivered on March 13.