A Central Saanich woman told a courtroom on Tuesday that she was sexually assaulted at her home in 2011 and threatened with a lit cigarette by a man with whom she previously had a brief relationship.
Murray Dale Leon Sam is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court for sexual assault, breaking and entering to commit an indictable offence and assault with a weapon — the cigarette.
The alleged victim, whose name is covered by a publication ban, told Crown prosecutor Leslie Baskerville that the relationship had been over for a month when Sam appeared in her living room, uninvited, in the early hours of Aug. 13, 2011. She had walked home from her daughter’s house about 2:30 a.m., opened a can of beer and fallen asleep on the couch with the television on.
She awoke with a start to see Sam in the room, she said.
“I jumped up and asked him what the hell he was doing there.”
She tried to use her phone but he grabbed it out of her hand and threw it against the wall, the court heard. Then Sam started dragging her down the hallway, she said.
“He dragged me into my room, threw me on the bed.”
Sam threatened to put out a lit cigarette on her face, she said, but she managed to get her hand in the way. “It seemed like it took forever. He told me not to tell anybody.”
At times during her testimony, she struggled to maintain her composure.
Baskerville noted that the woman’s recorded injuries at the time included a burned palm, knee abrasions and bruises on her back. She was also sent to a transition house.
Defence lawyer Richard Schwartz asked the woman how much she had to drink on the night in question. He suggested the seven to 10 beers she admitted to consuming could have affected her memory. The woman said they had not.
Schwartz also said the break-up with Sam seemed to have been somewhat vague, and that she had not told him the reason for the split was that she heard he had been seeing someone else. She replied that she and Sam had simply stopped seeing each other.
She also strongly denied Schwartz’s claim that she texted Sam a number of times on the day prior to the alleged assault.
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