Kelowna courthouse. - Image Credit: Capital News file photo

Kelowna courthouse. - Image Credit: Capital News file photo

Sexual assault trial gets underway in Kelowna

Violent sexual assault detailed in court trial

(Editor’s Note: Story contains material that may not be suitable for everyone)

A trial got underway Tuesday for a West Kelowna man accused of violently sexually assaulting and confining a woman who was at his house two years ago.

In opening statements Crown counsel Angela Ross told the court that she would be presenting evidence to show that the accused, Jeremy Czechowski, grabbed a woman who entered his home with a mutual acquaintance after the bar Feb. 20, 2016 and violently assaulted her. He allegedly forced the woman down, choked her to unconsciousness at least once and sexually violated her. The alleged attack is believed to have taken place over two hours.

The first of nearly a dozen witnesses scheduled to speak was a doctor who works with the sexual assault team at Kelowna General Hospital’s emergency ward.

She told the court the victim was clearly showing signs of being traumatized during her examination, which happened at around 8:40 a.m. Feb. 21, 2016.

She was “crying, sobbing and sort of hugging herself,” the doctor testified.

The victim was reluctant to sign a release form for the examination, due to “fearfulness for her life and her family’s life,” the court heard.

In 20 minutes she’d calmed down and signed the document, but the examination was fraught with emotional landmines, such as the point where the victim realized that she lost a sock during the alleged attack.

“It triggered a flood of memories of her shoes coming off,” said the witness, explaining that memory is often fragmented in acute traumatic situations.

Of physical evidence, the doctor found bruising on her neck as well as her head. There was evidence that she had black spots in her vision, consistent with asphyxiation and she had pain in her genitalia.

The trial continues tomorrow.

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