Top News

‘Graphic’ videos shown at Percy sexual assault trial in Halifax

Matthew Albert Percy is led into Halifax provincial court Monday for his trial on charges of sexual assault, choking and voyeurism. RYAN TAPLIN • THE CHRONICLE HERALD
Matthew Albert Percy is led into Halifax provincial court Monday for his trial on charges of sexual assault, choking and voyeurism. RYAN TAPLIN • THE CHRONICLE HERALD - The Chronicle Herald

A Crown attorney issued a warning to those present in Halifax provincial court Monday before an RCMP technological-crime expert played five videos from Matthew Albert Percy’s iPhone.

“These images are graphic,” prosecutor Rick Woodburn advised the court. “Some may be considered disturbing.”

Percy, 35, is on trial on charges of sexual assault, choking to overcome resistance and voyeurism from an encounter with a young woman at his Halifax apartment last Sept. 3.

The trial got underway with a voir dire on an application by the Crown to allow similar-fact evidence to be heard.

Woodburn wants Judge Bill Digby to consider two videos recorded last Sept. 15, when Percy is alleged to have raped a student in her dormitory room at Saint Mary’s University, in determining the credibility of the Sept. 3 complainant and whether she consented to have intercourse.

The first two videos played in court Monday were from Sept. 3 and showed the complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, performing oral sex on Percy.

In the third video, Percy is having intercourse with the woman from behind while holding on to her by her hair.

“Say it,” Percy tells the woman several times, but she doesn’t say anything.

The Crown alleges Percy was having intercourse with the woman without her consent, and that she didn’t know he was using his phone to record video of their encounter.

The woman was a student at SMU, where Percy worked at the time as a groundskeeper.

The court then watched two video clips from the Sept. 15 incident in a room at SMU’s Loyola Residence.

One of the videos from Sept. 15 shows that young woman, whose identity is also protected, giving Percy oral sex.

The other video, recorded about 25 minutes later, shows Percy having intercourse with the woman while she appears to be unconscious. Her eyes are closed, her head is turned to the side and her arms are hanging in opposite directions.

The phone then appears to be set down lens-first, but the microphone picks up unintelligible moaning by a female.

The voir dire, or trial within a trial, also heard from police officers who photographed Percy’s apartment and the SMU room, and from two officers who responded to the call at the Loyola Residence.

Sgt. Pierre Bourdages said he arrested Percy after finding him naked on the alleged victim’s bed.

On cross-examination by defence lawyer Brian Warcop, Bourdages said Percy complied with his directions and was polite.

Woodburn said the judge will be expected to rule on the admissibility of the similar-fact evidence after the Crown closes its case at the trial, which will continue Tuesday and Thursday.

The Sept. 3 complainant is scheduled to testify Tuesday, followed by several other civilian witnesses and possibly the lead investigator, Det. Const. Sue Mitchell.

Percy, who no longer works at SMU, also faces two other trials in Halifax provincial court.

He will stand trial in August on charges of sexual assault and voyeurism from the Sept. 15 incident at SMU. He has another trial set for October on a charge of sexual assault causing bodily harm, from an encounter with a woman at an address on Lemarchant Street in Halifax in December 2014.

Percy was granted bail last December after he was charged in late November in relation to the SMU incident. He was re-arrested 10 days later, after the Sept. 3 complainant went to police, and was denied bail.

Recent Stories