Canada
Girl’s account of rape could be an ‘invention,’ lawyer says

Courtroom sketch of Kevin Gregson. He is accused of first -degree murder in the 2009 stabbing death of Ottawa Police Const. Eric Czapnik.

Credits: Courtroom sketch by Laurie Foster-MacLeod

MEGAN GILLIS | QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA - The 13-year-old girl who says cop-killer Kevin Gregson raped her repeatedly had multiple opportunities to "practice" her story, which could be an "invention," his lawyer argued Friday.

But Crown attorney Brian Holowka insisted the "innocent" little girl -- whose credibility is the central issue at the former Mountie's trial on eight sex charges -- is an "exceptional" witness unshaken in cross-examination.

"There is not a scintilla, not a hint or a whisper that (she) misconceived what had happened to her," Holowka said. "It's crystal clear she was both a reliable and credible witness."

The girl's story was "chilling," Holowka said. Then 10, she told police in graphic detail in a videotaped statement shown in court how Gregson raped her twice on each of two days.

It was in the week before he stabbed Ottawa Police Const. Eric Czapnik to death on Dec. 29, 2009.

Judge Julianne Parfett is expected to give her decision Wednesday. If she convicts, the court will proceed directly to sentencing Gregson, who's already serving life with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Holowka argued the Crown's case is overwhelming -- from the girl and Gregson's DNA mixed on a mattress to evidence of her "blunt, penetrating" injuries.

Gregson's father testified that his suicidal son -- who'd just carjacked a vehicle and would kill Czapnik the next day -- said he'd done something "pretty stupid" that would mean 10 years behind bars if convicted.

Gregson's ex-wife had just confronted him with the rape allegations -- which he'd denied.

"He doesn't tell his father this is a false allegation -- he says his life's over, he's not angry at anyone and he's a monster," Holowka said. "They are clear and convincing admissions. The only inference is he's speaking of the sexual assaults."

Defence lawyer Craig Fleming argued Gregson could have been talking about the carjacking during the conversation with his dad.

He said there were gaps in the girl's memory and she became "argumentative" on the stand.

The girl couldn't remember what Gregson was wearing before the first rape and her description of the first touching changed from Gregson's hand "slipping" down her pants to "groping," Fleming said.

The defence lawyer argued there was no evidence how or when Gregson's DNA got on the mattress and that the active child could have been injured at play -- although Parfett noted he never asked her that question.


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