Closing arguments at Skipp Anderson's sexual assault trial focuses on consent
SASKATOON -- Closing arguments in Skipp Anderson's retrial – the former owner of Pink nightclub accused of sexual assault – came down to consent and lack of memory.
Defence lawyer Brian Pfefferle argued if the 25-year-old alleged victim isn't entirely sure what happened back in 2016, how can the court be?
If the complainant is unsure of what happened, the accused must be found not guilty, he added.
In July 2016, a group of friends – including 42-year-old Anderson and the alleged victim – went to the movies and went back at Anderson's for a hot tub party.
Earlier this week, the 25-year-old testified he got too drunk and became flirtatious with people at the party, including Anderson.
By his own admission, the man lost his memory of the next several hours.
He and the other witnesses identity have been protected under a publication ban.
His next recollection is waking up in bed in a spare room next to Anderson having non-consensual with him.
A sketch of the house floor plan was entered as evidence as Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench on Thursday afternoon.
Anderson told the court instead of sleeping in his own master bedroom, he climbed into bed with the man.
"I came over for a cuddle. I never asked to take it further," he testified on Wednesday.
His intention wasn't to have sex and he didn't initiate the sex, he told the court.
During closing arguments, Crown Prosecutor Katharine Grier called that behaviour "puzzling" and "questionable."
Anderson maintains his innocence and testified the alcohol he drank wore off at the time of the sexual encounter.
However, the Crown argued if Anderson did drink the three doubles he said he had, his memory can’t be relied on.
The "accused is so drunk that his memory is inaccurate as well" and the alleged victim was in no capacity to consent, Grier told the court.
The alleged victim testified when he woke up and realized what was happening he told Anderson to stop because he was "sore."
Anderson stopped and the man went outside to backyard where he got emotional, cried and contacted friends.
Greir argued the man's emotions are evidence of a traumatic event.
Meanwhile, Pfefferle argued the man's ability to walk and contact friend's suggests he didn't meet the bar of being unable to consent.
"This is not a credibility contest between the two," he argued.
"This is a complainant who you could conclude was an honest and attempted to be very credible witness, however highly unreliable on his own admission."
Anderson was found guilty of sexual assault by a jury in 2018, but the conviction was overturned in 2019, prompting the retrial to be ordered.
Justice Alison Rothery is presiding over the case.
The case “deserves greater thought and review,” she said. Her decision has been reserved for Feb. 26.