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David Case accuser says she held a knife to his throat when he caught her trying to escape

Despite all the abuse, she says she let him go because 'I didn't want to go to jail for him'
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The trial against former Sudbury track coach David Case continued on Jan. 14, as day two was largely spent with defense attorney Nicholas Xyannis cross examining the woman who testified Monday that Case sexually assaulted and physically attacked her when she was a teenager. (File)

The trial against former Sudbury track coach David Case continued on Jan. 14, as day two was largely spent with defense attorney Nicholas Xynnis cross examining the woman who testified Monday that Case sexually assaulted and physically attacked her when she was a teenager.

Xynnis spent hours on Tuesday poring over the woman's testimony, comparing and contrasting it with the police report she gave in 2017, questioning the woman and looking to poke holes in her story.

The woman, whose name can't be revealed because of a publication ban, left Case in January 1993. She had packed her belongings when she thought he was out of town, but he came home early, leading to a violent altercation that ended up with her on top of Case with a knife to his throat.

"He was out of town and he surprised me when he came home early," said the woman. "He saw my bags and we got into a fight. At some point I must have grabbed a knife because I was scared and I ended up on top of him, holding the knife. 

“I didn't want to kill him, I didn't want to go to jail for him."

A focal point of Xynnis' cross-examination were the details of when she first met Case and began training under his tutelage.

"Did you meet Mr. Case the summer going into grade nine or grade 10?" asked Xynnis. "Why the two stories?"

The woman explained that because it had been more than 30 years since she had met Case and when she went to the police in 2017 it was the first time that she had talked about it to anyone, and it had caused her to have some of her dates mixed up.

Additionally, the woman explained that she had repeated the fifth grade and it had caused some confusion when relating the years and what grade she was in at the time.

Xynnis pressed forward, questioning the woman about the night of the alleged first sexual assault that occurred in 1984 when she was away at a track meet in London. The woman testified Monday that Case had asked her to go to his dorm room where she assumed he wanted to talk to her about her upcoming race.

Case undressed, lifted up her top and climbed on top of her and grinded on her until he ejaculated on her stomach. Then he wiped it with a towel and left.

"When he came to your room and knocked on your door no one else woke up?" asked Xynnis.

"He asked to speak to me so I went to his room," the woman replied.

"And did any of your roommates wake up when you went back to the room later?" Xynnis asked.

"I don't recall."

The woman's eyes welled up with tears and her voice cracked as she broke down on a number of occasions during her cross-examination. She spoke of not having any friends in high school, and that Case was her only trusted friend.

"You were distraught by this, upset ... did anyone ask you if you were alright?" said Xynnis.

"I don't remember," she said.

During her preliminary statement to the police in March 2017, the woman indicated she was well-known at her high school, a statement that raised questions with Xynnis, given the woman's testimony that she was very much a loner in high school.

"I was an athlete, but I didn't socialize, I didn't go out to parties," she said. 

"You made no friends?" said Xynnis.

"No."

The woman's testimony was corroborated by her mother, who was the second witness called in the trial, and appeared via video call from Thunder Bay on Tuesday afternoon.

"Running was very important to her, it was all she wanted to do," said the woman's mother.

Her daughter showed great promise as a young athlete and as a supportive mother, she wanted to do anything she could to help her daughter reach her goals.

"I wanted to get her some coaching so I called the university (Laurentian) and they gave me David Case's name,” she said. “I spoke with him quite often at the start, I thought everything was fine and he seemed to know what he was doing.

"(My daughter) is very quiet, she's not street smart, we grew up in the country. She wanted to learn music in high school and she took up the flute."

As time passed, the woman started to notice a change in her daughter. She was becoming more distant and whenever she was asked if anything was bothering her, she would reply "it's fine" and that would be all.

"Something was definitely wrong." 

In 1984, the woman left home at just 16 years old and moved in with David Case and his family for a period of time. Her mother called relatives in search of her daughter who had left in the middle of the night, before eventually tracking her down at the Case home.

"Mrs. Case answered and I asked if (she) was there and she said yes and said 'with all the abuse going on in your home we're not sending her back there' and I don't know where she got that from, I would imagine it was David who told her that," said the mother. 

Case and the woman got married in secret when she turned 18, a fact that would remain unknown to the mother until 1993 when a bizarre series of events began to unfold, for which the mother believed Case was responsible.

It was after the woman's grandmother's funeral in Thunder Bay in late 1992 when the mother began to get a clear understanding of the trouble her daughter was in.

"We were at my mother's funeral and I got a call at 2 or 3 in the morning from someone claiming to be the Thunder Bay Police, asking where (my daughter) was," said the mother. "It was definitely David Case. After the funeral I told her enough is enough."

The woman began the process of moving things back into her mother's home in Sudbury from her apartment she shared with Case. Police officers began showing up at the mother's home, looking for her daughter.

"They showed up one night saying that she had a key to the apartment and a pair of shorts that belong to David Case," said the mother. "Police came again another night saying they had a warrant for her but didn't say what it was for."

On one occasion, a young boy -- who the mother said was nine or 10 years old -- showed up at her doorstep with an envelope addressed to her daughter. The mother asked who he was and the boy took off running.

"I chased after him to find out who he was and he ran into a church parking lot," she said. "He got into a white car and they took off and I knew it was David Case. I decided I was going to open that envelope. It wasn't my mail, but I had to read it. That was the first time I'd ever heard that she and David were married."

Even after her daughter left Case, her mother said she could tell she was still shaken up. 

"I asked her if she wanted to go to Thunder Bay and stay with her aunt for a while and she said yes," said the mother.

"I remember when I was driving her to the bus station she laid down in the back seat, and told me it was just in case anyone is watching."

The defense had no questions for the woman's mother after her testimony. The trial will resume Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 10 a.m.





Matt Durnan

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