BY KEITH LACEY
A sexual assault trial came to an abrupt end Tuesday when the Crown decided it would not put the 14-year-old complainant through any further trauma of testifying.
Ronald Patry, 43, pleaded guilty to one count of common assault. Charges of sexual assault, forcible confinement and invitation to sexual touching were stayed. The alleged incidents took place between November of 2001 and August of 2002.
The young girl did a good job testifying under direct examination from assistant Crown attorney Marc Huneault Monday.
However, under cross-examination by defence counsel Herve Sauve she became very upset, complained of a headache, held her head in her hands and could barely be heard in the courtroom.
Tuesday morning, Huneault told the court the matter was resolved. Patry would plead guilty to common assault and the other three charges would be stayed.
Justice Ian Gordon of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice commented on how upset the complainant was and commended both lawyers for coming to an agreement to prevent her from having to endure further cross-examination.
Patry, who had no previous criminal record, was placed on probation for 18 months. He was ordered to not have any communication with the girl or her family nor be in the presence of any girl age 14 and under unless she is accompanied by a parent or guardian for the full length of the probation order.
Patry was also ordered to undergo any counselling his probation officer might recommend.
Gordon, reading from a psychological profile presented to the court, noted Patry had very low intelligence ?in the lowest one percentile? for a Canadian man his age.
Sauve noted to the court during the trial Patry couldn?t read or write and often hung around children because he shared the same intelligence level.
The girl testified when she first met Patry she thought ?he was a really nice person? and she and her other teenage friends often socialized and played with him.
However, Patry eventually would follow her around and on two occasions he forced her inside a trailer by grabbing her arm and pushing her, she said.
He never did anything inappropriate on either occasion, however she ?was scared? and ran away both times, she said.
When her family moved to another location, Patry became more aggressive in his behaviour towards her, she testified.
On several occasions, he would ?bodycheck me to the ground? and slap her on her buttocks, she said.
?I kept telling him to stop, but he wouldn?t listen,? she testified. ?It made me feel very uncomfortable.?
On one occasion, Patry asked her to ?let?s get frisky and stuff?, but she declined after he had again knocked her to the ground and rubbed her buttocks, she said.
All of the incidents happened within a one month span last summer, she said.
She wrote a letter to her father and kept notes in her diary about what had happened. Police were contacted once
she wrote a note to her father, she said.