Woman recounts sexual assault on day Abdi died
Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019 5:31PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 13, 2019 5:43PM EDT
Security measures have been increased at the manslaughter trial for Constable Daniel Montsion following an alleged incident yesterday. And court heard Wednesday from a woman who was sexually assaulted by a man with bloodshot eyes and an intense stare.
Now the Defence has filed an application asking the judge to throw the case out based on lost or destroyed evidence.The Defence is arguing basically that the Crown mishandled this case with respect to video evidence. The Crown meantime is asking the Judge to quash that argument.
In the middle of all this, there was some compelling testimony from one of several women sexually assaulted allegedly by Abdirahman Abdi.
The woman, whose name and identity are under a publication ban, told court that she and her friend were driving near the Bridgehead coffee shop on the day Abdi died.
That coffee shop and the surrounding area is where Abdirahman Abdi is alleged to have assaulted six women before his fatal encounter with police.
The windows were down in the car on that hot July morning. As they waited at a red light, a man with an intense stare approached the female driver asking her name, reaching in to shake her hand.
"I wanted my hand back. He had it in a tight clasp", she told court.
"He started to say he needed to touch me and his other hand came in and grabbed my breast."
The woman says he squeezed multiple times. She told the Crown prosecutor that the man's eyes were bloodshot,
"I knew I needed to get out if that situation."
She recalls moving the car forward to get his hand out of the window. Her friend called police.
The witness says the interaction lasted 20 to 30 seconds but had a lasting impact on her. She didn't sleep in the weeks following the attack and hasn't walked in the Hintonburg area since.
The Crown asked if she thought this man might have been mentally ill but she responded that she had no training to ascertain that.
At court today, security was increased following alleged comments hurled at both Montsion and his lawyers.
The Justice for Abdi Coalition says it does not condone racism or acts of anti-Semitism.
“We were quite shocked by the alleged intimidation from yesterday,” says Dahabo Amed Omer with the Justice for Abdirahman Abdi Coalition, “It's not what we're about and it is important that people remember why we're here, why we're a part of this trial, that we are doing our job as part of this community, this society, and as part of our civic engagement and we are here for justice and to get answers as what happened to Abdirahman Abdi.
Lawyers on both sides would argue that's exactly what they're trying to do: get answers. Today, Montsion's defence lawyers said their ability to do that has been compromised by what they allege is "lost and destroyed evidence" and asked Justice Robert Kelly to either stay the proceedings against Montsion or exclude some video evidence. The Crown wants the Judge to quash the request.