Trial begins for man accused of sex assault

The alleged incident occured at a Cranbrook trailer home in October 2016.

A trial for a man charged with sexual assault is underway in Cranbrook Supreme Court this week.

Matthew Buxton is charged with sexual assault, assault and uttering threats in connection with an alleged incident that occurred at his home two years ago in Cranbrook.

The proceedings are being heard in front of Justice Catherine Murray and a jury consisting of eight men and four women.

The crown’s opening statement alleges that after a night of drinking at a local bar on Oct. 8, 2016, Buxton and some friends — including the complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban — returned to his trailer where the offences occurred in the early morning hours.

Crown alleges that Buxton sexually assaulted the complainant, then held a pillow over her face while also uttering threats.

Crown opened with testimony from two RCMP officers who responded to a 911 call at a local trailer park around 5 a.m.

The officers arrived within a few minutes of each other to find Buxton’s roommate and the complainant leaving the trailer, while Buxton remained inside his bedroom.

The officers arrested Buxton, who was naked inside his room, which was covered in broken glass on the floor and the bed, according to the testimony of Cst. Andrea Fitzpatrick.

Buxton was taken to a police cruiser and arrested for assault and later transported to RCMP prison cells.

It wasn’t until later that day that allegations of sexual assault were revealed to a different officer who conducted a formal interview with the complainant, who appeared distraught when police first arrived to the scene, according to Cst. Fitzpatrick.

Bartenders working at the King Edward Hotel bar on Oct. 7, 2016, testified that Buxton arrived shortly after 8 p.m. and was wearing a hospital gown. He bought at least a round for everyone and said he was celebrating his birthday.

The trial continues throughout this week with testimony expected from further witnesses at the bar as well as Buxton’s former roommate who was present in his home when the alleged incident occurred.

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