Edmonton News (Canada), Mar. 4, 2003
By TONY BLAIS, COURT BUREAU
An Edmonton paramedic went on trial yesterday accused of beating his former wife and sexually assaulting her, her sister and one of her friends.
The 26-year-old ex-wife testified he slapped her, choked her, twisted her arm and kicked a chair from under her while she was changing a light bulb during a four-year marriage she said she was too afraid to leave.
“I was really, really scared,” she said, adding he threatened to flee with their son and hurt her family.
She said her ex-husband once told her he’d hunt (her) whole family down … if she left him.
The soft-spoken woman said she also was prevented from leaving the marriage by her faith as a Jehovah’s Witness, a religion she said frowns on divorce unless one of the parties cheats on the other.
The woman, who can’t be identified under a court-ordered publication ban, testified her former husband choked her until she passed out in 1994 during an argument while they had friends over for dinner.
“He just looked at me and squeezed,” she said.
In 1996, she said she rebuked him for belching into her face and he slapped her across the cheek. The alleged chair-kicking incident also happened that year, she said.
In 1997, she said her ex struck her several times with a hockey stick after she allowed their son to play hockey inside the home using his hockey tape as a puck.
“He hit me across the back of the legs with it,” she said, adding on the same day he also twisted her arm behind her back when she refused to give him her bank card.
The alleged sexual assault happened in 1998 when he forced unwanted anal sex on her, she testified.
The woman described her former husband as being controlling and highly egotistical about his job as a paramedic.
“He used to say when people are praying to God, they’re praying to me…,” she said.
The 36-year-old paramedic, who can’t be named to protect the identity of his former wife, was charged after the woman went to police in January 2002. The man’s boss said earlier he will remain off work until the charges have been dealt with.
The Court of Queen’s Bench trial continues today.