If you thought that we got all the good sexual assault trials down here in the States, then you obviously haven’t heard much about what’s been going on in Toronto the last few days. Bernard Williams, a former football player with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, was acquitted today on rape charges stemming from the accusations of a 23-year-old who tried, but failed, to catch on as a cheerleader for the team. Seems that things didn’t quite go down the way she thought they did. It might have had something to do with the fact that she had 20 mixed drinks on the night in question.
(All because she couldn’t be part of this happy group)
The woman, who can’t be identified because of Canadian law, hurtled a number of racial slurs at Williams after he allegedly started having sex with her while she was passed out. But there was no forensic evidence that any such actions took place, and the woman’s testimony was full of so many holes and changed so many times that the judge concluded that she basically made it all up.
Still, any trial that involves the prosecutor uttering the line “it is ridiculous to say she imagined a phantom penis inside of her” is worth examining a bit further.
The NATIONAL POST gives us a pretty good idea of the shape the accuser was in on the night in question, which was in 2006:
The alleged victim testified that she drank at least seven shots of tequila and smoked some marijuana before she drove with her friend to the C Lounge, a bar in Toronto’s entertainment district.
While at the bar, she admitted to drinking at least five double martinis and three or four drinks called “Sex on the Beach.” The woman said some “older men” were paying for the drinks. At one point, she asked Argonaut defensive end Jonathan Brown to help her deal with a male customer who made inappropriate comments about her breasts.
Eventually, the woman’s friend decided they would return home with Williams and Brown.
When they arrived, the woman testified that she felt sick and just wanted to go to sleep. She denied smoking more marijuana at the end of the night, although she admitted she had been “partying” most of the weekend and had cocaine and marijuana at a barbecue the previous night.
She didn’t mince words when she took the stand either. Here’s what she said she shouted at Williams:
“I called him a f—ing disgusting n—-r,” the woman admitted. ” ‘How could you do this? What if I get diseases from you?’ ” she testified she screamed at the football player.
Williams testified that the woman had fallen off the bed and he was simply helping her get back on it. When a defense lawyer suggested that the woman was not in the right state to know what was going on, she responded:
“I know he was in the bed, in my vagina,” she replied.
Ashley Bonar, a now-former friend who was with the woman that night, contradicted most of the woman’s testimony.
When all was said and done, the judge wasn’t buying what the drunk girl was selling:
“There is clear evidence of invention or imagined events,” said Judge Macdonald about the testimony of the alleged victim.
In contrast, he described Mr. Williams as an “impressive” witness who was credible when he testified that he did not engage in any sexual relations with the woman.