A Central Saanich man denied burning a woman with a lit cigarette and forcing her to have sex against her will.
Murray Dale Leon Sam took the stand in his own defence Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court. He is charged with sexual assault, breaking and entering to commit an indictable offence and assault with a weapon — a lit cigarette. The identity of his alleged victim is protected by a court order.
Sam testified that he had known the woman all his life, but got to know her better during a four-month sexual relationship. Most of the time they drank together, he said, and she knew he also spent time with another woman.
He testified that on the night of Aug. 12, 2011, he drank about five beers. He texted “Hi” to the woman, and she replied: “Is this Slim?” he recalled.
Sam, who said he did not know who Slim was, called her. He asked if it was all right to come by, and she said yes.
Sam walked to her house, arriving at 12:50 a.m. When he knocked, the woman told him to come in, Sam said. She was sitting on the couch with a box of beer, he recalled. When Sam asked for a beer, “She wouldn’t give me one,” he testified. “She said, ‘We’re not partying here. We’re going to my room.’ ”
Sam testified that she called to him from the master bedroom. When he went inside, she was lying naked on the bed. He said he closed the curtains, sat down and started getting undressed.
The woman asked him to lock the door, said Sam, telling him to use a nail to keep the door closed.
They started to have sex, he testified.
“Was it consensual?” asked Richard Schwartz, his defence lawyer.
“Yes,” Sam replied.
Then they stopped. “I asked her if she was OK. She asked me if I was OK. I asked her if there was something she wanted to talk about,” Sam testified. He told the woman to get dressed so they could talk.
The woman seemed different, he testified. “She was quiet and would not make eye contact with me.”
Then she got a text message and asked him to leave, Sam testified. As he left, she told him her family hated him. Sam went home and was arrested a few days later.
Sam took the stand after Justice Keith Bracken dismissed a no-evidence motion submitted by Schwartz. The defence lawyer argued that although there was some evidence that Sam said he was going to put the cigarette out on the woman’s face, there was no evidence that he did so. The only evidence was that the woman raised her hand to wave the cigarette out of Sam’s hand and was burned.
Prosecutor Leslie Baskerville argued that a physical assault was in progress when Sam spoke those words. The evidence also shows how close Sam was to the woman when her hand was burned, she said.
© Copyright 2013