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Divergent scenarios presented to jury in rape trial

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A jury will decide if a 17-year-old girl was repeatedly and brutally raped by a Winnipeg man or if she consensually had sex with him and made up the attack to avoid incurring the wrath of her dangerous gang-member boyfriend who is still in prison.

The widely divergent scenarios were presented to a jury Monday during final submissions by defence and crown counsel in the trial of Richard Rondeau, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault, confinement, choking to overcome resistance, assault and uttering threats.

Over the course of five days of testimony last week Rondeau was portrayed as a brutal sexual predator who viciously attacked the victim to satisfy his sexual hunger and the alleged victim was described as a remorseful young woman who had sex with her boyfriend’s buddy then made up an attack story to cover up her infidelity.

Defence lawyer Jody Ostapiw said Rondeau, 28, is a former gang member with a criminal record, adding that makes him a criminal, but not a rapist.

Ostapiw said the victim spent the evening of Sept. 2 and morning of Sept. 3, 2011 with Rondeau, having oral and vaginal sex with him in several different locations.

Ostapiw said the victim became remorseful about cheating on her violent and dangerous boyfriend. She said the victim knew she could count on Rondeau remaining silent about their sexual encounters but was fearful others would tell and so began making a series of calls to 911 and then posting details about the alleged sexual attacks on Facebook.

Crown prosecutor Daniel Chaput told the jury they should find Rondeau guilty of all the charges. Chaput said the victim was brutally raped over a two-hour period in the early hours of Sept. 3, 2011.

Chaput said if the victim had had consensual sex and became worried about her boyfriend finding out, she would not have drawn attention to herself by contacting 911 and giving statements to the police.

Chaput said Rondeau is an admitted liar who repeatedly changed his story to police about the hours in question.

Rondeau’s testimony, Chaput said, is "self-serving, contrived and totally unbelievable."

The jury will begin deliberations Wednesday following final instructions from the trial judge.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

 

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