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Conviction in bizzare sex assault upheld in B.C.’s highest court

Monday, March 15th, 2010 | 5:47 pm

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EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS STORY CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT OF A SEXUAL NATURE

By Joe Fries

B.C.’s highest court has upheld a 2007 conviction against Larry Jesse, who was found guilty of a “highly unusual” sexual assault on a drunk woman passed out at a house party in Lake Country.

He has since been labelled a dangerous offender and is serving an indeterminate sentence behind bars. That designation came about partly because of a previous sexual assault conviction in 1995 that was frighteningly similar to his last one. That link formed part of the case Jesse put to the B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver in September, and on which a decision was rendered on March 9.

Jesse, an orchard worker, was tried on the single count of sexual assault in B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna over several months in 2007. The victim, a woman in her 20s who was identified only as J.M., had been drinking heavily at a house party in Winfield on Feb. 18 2005, and eventually passed out on a makeshift bed on the home’s dining room floor.

The homeowners and other guests left the house, and when the hosts returned, they were passed on the way out by Jesse. Inside, they found J.M.’s pants had been removed and a hair brush, electric toothbrush and regular toothbrush were scattered on the floor near her. The next day, she removed a cork from her vagina.

In her reasons for judgement, Justice Elizabeth Arnold-Bailey ruled it was  Jesse who was seen leaving the house and that it was him to placed the cork, likely with the items found near the victim. The judge relied partly on so-called similar fact evidence from witnesses at Jesse’s 1995 sexual assault trial. That case revolved around a woman in Vancouver who had been sexually assaulted by having two plastic shopping bags packed tightly into her vagina using some sort of object.

While he denied committing that assault, he never appealed and subsequently served a seven-year jail term. He said he didn’t appeal because legal aid wouldn’t cover the cost and he was unaware he could handle the matter himself. Jesse then suggested in his appeal that Justice Arnold-Bailey was wrong to admit the similar fact evidence.

However, the appeal court dismissed that grievance.

“The judge concluded and I agree that ‘the secreting of foreign objects into the vaginas of incapacitated women, probably effected by the use of another blunt instrument [is] highly unusual behaviour’,” wrote Justice Edward Chiasson on behalf of the three-person appeal court panel.

The panel also shot down Jesse’s claim that the trial judge was wrong to reject his testimony about what happened on Feb. 18, 2007, as well an additional complaint that his Charter rights were breached because transcripts from the 1995 trial were destroyed after seven years as per government policy.

Jesse was 57 years old when he was labelled a dangerous offender by Justice Arnold-Bailey on Feb. 17, 2009.

joe@kelowna.com

250-575-4303

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3 Responses to “Conviction in bizzare sex assault upheld in B.C.’s highest court”

  1. Kimber Johnson says:
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    Hilarious!

  2. Samantha Who says:
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    There is nothing hilarious about this. A woman was sexually assualted and a man was convicted of sexual assault (deserving according the BCCA) but not funny in any way shape or form!

  3. boosco says:
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    There is in no way any humour in this story! A sicko sexually assaulting a woman, intoxicated or not, is no joke.

    Please continue discussion on the forum: link

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