'I came over for a cuddle. I never asked to take it further': Former Saskatoon nightclub owner accused of sexual assault testifies
SASKATOON -- The former owner of Pink nightclub took the stand in his own defence during his re-trial, claiming the sex between him and his alleged victim was consensual.
Skipp Anderson, 42, broke out in tears at Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench when he was questioned about the sexual encounter.
He maintained his innocence when he testified Wednesday, where he accused of sexually assaulting a then 22-year-old man in 2016.
"I didn't initiate the sex. I was more of a passive partner," Anderson testified.
"I came over for a cuddle. I never asked to take it further."
"Why did you engage in sexual intercourse?" defense lawyer Brian Pfefferle asked.
"I guess he's one of the few people I trusted, so I trusted him. I was lonely. I had been single for quite some time," Anderson responded.
Anderson told court he thought the man was sober. "He didn't slur, he wasn't clumsy."
Six witnesses, including the accused, have taken the stand. All agreed the group went to the movies on a summer night and went back to Anderson's for a hot tub party.
Witnesses said he had to be taken to bed in a spare room inside the house.
On Tuesday, the alleged victim – now 25-years-old and protected under a publication ban – testified he got too drunk at the party.
He said his last memory of the night was in the hot tub. He woke up at around 3:30 a.m., still drunk, but slightly more coherent.
“My next recollection was waking up in a bed with Skipp Anderson behind me and we were having sex.”
He testified he was in no state to consent. "I was crying, I was confused and embarrassed."
He told court what happened was not okay. "It was unnerving."
During cross examination, Anderson's answers differed from the information he gave when giving a police statement days after the incident in August, 2016.
In the statement, presented by the Crown as evidence, Anderson alleged the complainant got in bed with him, but during his retrial he said he "must have misspoken" and admitted he got in bed with the 22-year-old.
“We both felt dirty and we didn't want anyone to know," he testified, claiming both parties felt guilty for having a one-night stand.
This is a new trial for Anderson. He was found guilty of sexual assault by a jury in 2018 and sentenced to 30 months in prison, but that conviction was overturned by Saskatchewan's highest court in 2019 and the retrial was ordered.
Initially, the re-trial started with a jury, but is now judge alone. Justice Alison Rothery is presiding over the case.
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Thursday afternoon.