'I didn't initiate': Sexual assault complainant testifies at retrial for former Saskatoon nightclub owner
SASKATOON -- A new trial is underway for the former owner of Saskatoon’s Pink Nightclub accused of sexual assault.
Witnesses describe the alleged victim of a sexual assault as being extremely intoxicated and in and out of consciousness on a summer night in 2016.
“At one point he was face-first floating in the hot tub,” Witness 2 testified in Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday.
Four witnesses, including the alleged victim, took the stand Tuesday. They cannot be named due to a publication ban.
All agreed the group had gone to the movies and then back to Anderson’s home for a hot tub party four years ago.
The alleged victim, a 22-year-old man at the time, told court he over-drank and a friend pulled him out of the hot tub.
The other witnesses said Anderson, then 39-years-old, took the man to bed, where the alleged sexual assault happened.
The complainant testified 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.
Witnesses testified Anderson, as the host, was pouring people drinks, but didn't seem to be drinking much himself.
“I was crying, I was confused and embarrassed,” the complainant said.
He testified shortly after the incident that he texted and called friends from the party asking why they left him at the house.
“I noticed I missed a bunch of texts at 3 a.m.,” Witness 3 told the court.
“I was horrified that I didn't wake up.”
The defence referenced alcohol amnesia, arguing the alleged victim could have initiated the sex, but doesn’t remember.
“Because you don’t have the memory about it, it’s possible that (Anderson’s) position that you initiated the sex is correct? It’s possible it happened?,” defence lawyer Mark Brayford asked the complainant.
He responded, “yes”.
When asked how he’s doing, the man told the court: “It’s taken a long time. It’s kind of alienated me a little bit. I've been separated from a lot of things.”
In January 2018, a jury found Anderson guilty of sexual assault.
A new trial for Anderson, who owned Pink Nightclub, was ordered in March 2019 by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal after a judge overturned the sexual assault conviction because a witness revealed prejudicial information in front of the jury.
In January 2018, the jury heard the complainant was intoxicated to the point he was passing out in a hot tub while a group of friends drank alcohol at Anderson’s home in July 2016.
Anderson was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Initially, the re-trial started with a jury, but is now judge alone. Justice Alison Rothery is presiding over the case.
Anderson and the sixth and final witness are expected to take the stand Wedneday.