At the time of the offence, Kerry Craig Stewart, 37, worked in wireless communications and operated a side business running promotional events through a dating and escort company. The year-old complainant, who had experience working in promotional events at conferences, festivals and as a brand ambassador at de industry shows, responded to the ad Stewart placed in late August She agreed to meet Stewart at a Starbucks location in downtown Vancouver for her job interview, with the accused asking her to bring three outfits to wear for a photo shoot.
But after a mix-up, Stewart ended up picking her up in his vehicle and driving her to his leased apartment.
The complainant, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, and the defendant both testified at trial, providing ificantly different versions of what happened in the apartment. He testified they had agreed in advance to go to the apartment for the interview and that during the photo shoot there was a mutual attraction between them. Stewart claimed she consented to him performing oral sex on her and other sex acts in the bedroom.
The complainant said she never agreed in advance to go to the apartment and was surprised to be taken there. The Crown argued the accused knew the complainant did not consent, or was reckless of or wilfully blind to her lack of consent, and that Stewart did not have an honest but mistaken belief that she consented.
The defence position was that the complainant was at all times a willing and consenting participant who expressed by words, or actively expressed by conduct, her consent. In her verdict, provincial court Judge Harbans Dhillon said that as soon as the accused became aroused in the course of the photo shoot, it was up to him to take reasonable steps to maintain a clear line between the requirements of the job interview and acting on his personal sexual desires.
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