'He was being creepy:' Alleged victim testifies at Mountie's sex assault trial

RED DEER, Alta. — A woman has testified that an RCMP officer was "being creepy" when he arrested her in central Alberta three years ago and told her to show him her breasts.

Jason Andrew Tress, who is 32, pleaded not guilty to sexual assault on the first day of his trial in Red Deer Court of Queen's Bench.

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Melissa Heinrich, who agreed to have a publication ban on her name lifted, told court that she and her boyfriend at the time were living at a hotel in Red Deer when Mounties showed up to investigate a firearms complaint.

She testified officers searched their hotel room but found no firearms — they were discovered later under a nearby stairwell.

Heinrich said Tress made vulgar comments about the way she was dressed and said he could see through her cut-off T-shirt.

She said once they were alone in the detachment, Tress asked her to stand against a wall for a mug shot and to show him her breasts.

"I was asked quite a few times," she said Monday. "He was being creepy, for lack of a better word, or unprofessional."

She eventually complied with his request, Heinrich told the judge who's hearing the case without a jury.

Heinrich told court that Tress went through her cellphone, scrolled through her camera roll and found several nude photos of herself, along with videos of her boyfriend taken from the waist down.

Defence lawyer Rob Beaman said the case against his client comes down to the credibility of Heinrich, who admitted to being a drug user since she was 16 and who has several drug-related convictions on her criminal record.

During cross-examination, Heinrich admitted she may have been under the influence of opioids or crystal meth while giving statements to police about four weeks after the alleged encounter with Tress.

Heinrich is the first of three witnesses the Crown expects to call during the trial. (rdnewsNOW)

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