News Toronto

Sex-assault complainant gave booze-fuelled consent, cops' trial told

By Sam Pazzano, Toronto Sun

An alleged victim of sexual assault by three Toronto cops gave her booze-fuelled consent when she participated in an orgy, insisted a prominent lawyer representing one of the accused officers.

“Severe drunkenness is not the equivalent of incapacity. A drunken consent is still a valid consent,” Alan Gold said in his closing argument Monday. “She was just drunk, had a buzz.”

Gold’s client, Sameer Kara and two other Toronto Police officers — Joshua Cabero and Leslie Nyznik — are accused of assaulting the parking enforcement officer at a Westin Harbour Castle Hotel room after a night of pub hopping in January 2015. The trio have pleaded not guilty.

Alcohol-induced memory loss or loss of inhibition or self-control “doesn’t amount to proof of a crime,” said Gold.

The lawyer said hotel video showing the woman walking, smiling and chatting with Nyznik and Cabero, “contradicts the lack of capacity” to make decisions. The woman, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, testified that she was “powerless ... couldn’t move, talk or stop what was happening.”

The witness testified she was intoxicated and drugged and suffering from an excruciating headache as she took a cab with Cabero and Nyznik to the downtown hotel where Kara was taken two hours earlier. Kara was vomiting, staggering and sick from over-drinking, court heard.

Why go to their hotel room if she was feeling so ill, asked Gold.

“She could have told the taxi, ‘Just take me home. I don’t feel well.’ That part of her story simply makes no rational sense,” said Gold.

The complainant’s decision to go to the hotel to wake up Kara so that they could continue drinking also defied common sense, said Gold.

“It defies any standard of judgment,” Gold told Justice Anne Molloy at the judge-alone trial.

Detective testifies

Veteran detective Barry Radford said his “spider sense was tingling.”

He felt uneasy when he heard laughter and sexual innuendo between Toronto Police Const. Leslie Nyznik and a woman in the backseat of a taxi they shared en route to The Brass Rail.

“In my opinion, it was recipe for disaster. I wanted nothing to do with it,” the detective testified at the trial of Nyznik and fellow cops, Sameer Kara and Joshua Cabero.

They are accused of sexually assaulting a parking control officer in a downtown hotel room after a night of bar hopping in January 2015. The trio have pleaded not guilty.

“I didn’t want to hear any more. I didn’t want to be part of the conversation. She said she didn’t mind going to strip club and she’d been to one before,” said Radford. He mentored Kara and Nyznik but wasn’t a friend socially with any of the accused officers.

“They were drinking but not inebriated,” said Radford, 60, of Nyznik and the woman. “There was a fluid conversation.”

Neither one had slurring speech, said Radford, who said he sat beside the driver while Nyznik, the woman and another cop rode in the back.

The investigator joined the pub-hopping at 7:30 p.m. While he didn’t know the complainant, Radford testified he noticed her closely watching Nyznik and pursuing him around the bar.

“She always seemed to be looking in Nyznik’s direction. He’d talk to her, move away and she would, at some point, come back to him,” he told court.

The trial resumes Tuesday.

spazzano@postmedia.com