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Percy would not take no for answer, woman tells Halifax court

Matthew Albert Percy
RYAN TAPLIN
Matthew Albert Percy RYAN TAPLIN - The Chronicle Herald

Matthew Albert Percy was not taking no for an answer, says a Saint Mary’s University student who claims he raped her last September.

Percy, 35, is on trial in Halifax provincial court on charges of sexual assault, choking to overcome resistance and voyeurism, for allegedly recording video of their encounter on his iPhone.

The 22-year-old complainant took the stand Tuesday, the second day of the trial. Her identity is protected by a publication ban.

The young woman testified that she and Percy, who worked as groundskeeper at SMU, ended up back at his Halifax apartment in the early morning hours of Sept. 3 after having drinks together at two bars downtown.

She said she only planned to have a glass of water at his place to sober herself up before going home.

She said he began rubbing her feet while they were seated on the couch and then got on top of her and started kissing her.

Percy, who regularly worked out at the SMU gym, then picked her up like she was a “feather” and carried her to the bedroom, she said.

She said that as things progressed, “I said, ‘no sex tonight, no sex tonight,’” but the next thing she knew he was performing oral sex on her.

She said she faked an orgasm in hopes that he would stop, and afterwards she went limp on the bed. “I was kind of hoping he’d just leave me alone at that point,” she said.

But she said he then manoeuvred her into giving him oral sex, forcefully pushing down on her head the whole time.

“I’d try to push up and get some air or just stop, and he’d push me back down,” she said. “At one point, I thought I was going to throw up in my mouth because I couldn’t breathe and my gag reflex hit.”

She said she remembers looking up once “and all I could see were his muscles flexing, because he was holding me down. ... At that point, I was getting really scared.”

The woman said that when she ended up underneath Percy, “I looked at him and I said, ‘No, we’re not having sex tonight.’”

She said Percy put his hands around her throat, cutting off her ability to breathe, pushed her down onto the bed and said, “Oh, we’re having sex.”

She said she decided to go along with his demands because she was scared. “I just wanted to get out of there alive,” she said.

She agreed to remove the romper she had borrowed from a friend before he picked her up and put her back down on the bed. “He already had a condom on and started penetrating me,” she said.

She said she “got out of there as quickly as I could” after the incident and took a cab to her apartment.

She said when she woke up in the morning, she had a sore vagina, handprints and bruising on her neck and red, bloodshot eyes.

She considered going to the hospital, she said, but didn’t want to have to deal with all the questions.

“I didn’t want anyone to know what had happened,” she said. “I wanted everything to go away. I was embarrassed. … I was ashamed that I let myself get in that position.

“How many times did I have to say no for him to understand that I meant no? I was saying no and he kept going. It was just pushing another limit after another limit until I broke.”

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