Surrey provincial court. (Black Press Media files)

Surrey provincial court. (Black Press Media files)

Guilty verdict in Langley sex assault trial

The attack took place in 2014

A judge delivered a guilty verdict in a Langley sexual assault trial over an attack that took place in 2014.

Kenneth Jesse Smith was found guilty of sexual assault by Judge Mark Jetté in Surrey Provincial Court on Aug. 30.

The victim, identified only by initials in the ruling to protect her privacy, was an acquiantance of Smith.

On the afternoon of Sept. 17, 2014, Smith was at her home for a small social event.

The victim and her two guests had been drinking, and there were gaps in her memory around parts of the attack.

She had testified that at one point she blacked out, then woke up to find she was being sexually assaulted.

Although it was dark, she recognized Smith.

She testified that not only did she not consent to sex, she had no interest in Smith in that way.

She woke up in her bedroom the next morning with no idea how she had gotten there.

The victim called a relative, a friend, and then the police, and was examined by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) that afternoon in hospital. Shortly after that, she spoke to an RCMP officer.

The SANE examination found DNA from Smith and some abrasions and bruising that Jetté said was consistent with the victim’s account of the attack.

The main issue at the trial was the testimony of the victim and that of Smith.

Smith claimed the victim had made sexual advances to him and that there had been a brief consenual sexual encounter in the home’s bathroom.

Jetté did not find Smith’s testimony convincing.

“This evidence was a construct designed to offer an innocent explanation for a fact Mr. Smith could not avoid or plausibly deny, that he had engaged in sexual activity with [the victim] that day,” Jetté wrote in his ruling.

He noted that Smith initially lied to the investigating RCMP officer, saying there had been no physical contact at all between himself and the victim.

Smith has not yet been sentenced, and is expected back in court later this month.

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