Plans for a Kamloops photoshoot went awry, court hears in sexual assault trial - InfoNews

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Plans for a Kamloops photoshoot went awry, court hears in sexual assault trial

June 25, 2019 - 6:00 AM

KAMLOOPS — A Penticton man was found guilty Monday of a 2017 sexual assault of a Kamloops woman he'd been introduced to for a potential photoshoot.

Richard Skoyen was convicted today, June 24, by Justice Sheri Ann Donegan on one count of sexual assault. In her reasons for judgement, Donegan said Skoyen and a Kamloops woman, who can't be named due to a court-ordered publication ban, were connected by an Okanagan photographer in the summer of 2017.

The two didn't know each other prior to the sexual assault that took place on July 7, 2017 in Merritt, Donegan said. The woman who occasionally works as a model had asked the photographer to set her up with a male model for a photoshoot. The photographer sent her photos of two potential candidates and asked to be connected with Skoyen.

The two began chatting through social media and  text messages. Eventually they agreed to meet in person to find out if they had chemistry.

Donegan said the pair had discussed the possibility of sexual contact during their first meeting but the woman testified at the trial, a sexual encounter was not for certain and it would only happen if it was a mutual decision.

The woman said in her testimony the intention to meet up in Merritt was to smoke a joint and see if they liked each other, Donegan said.

Their conversations prior to the meeting involved sharing sexual interests, fantasies and ideas involving "rough sex’’, however the woman said she could not guarantee they would have sex on their first meeting

“Most of their communications leading up to this meeting were sexually explicit,” Donegan said.

On July 7, 2017, the woman drove from Kamloops to Merritt and met with Skoyen at a gas station. She got into his car and the two drove to a park where they could smoke marijuana and talk privately. The pair found a bench near a golf course and sat down.

While they were talking, the woman testified that Skoyen began rubbing her clitoris through her shorts.

“She testified she didn’t say anything at this point and in her own mind she was fine with it,” Donegan said. “ She testified everything that happened after this point in time between them was not fine and was not activity into which she consented.”

The woman testified Skoyen moved to undo his belt and grabbed her head forcefully and (put it) onto his erect penis, the judge said. The victim testified Skoyen also called her vulgar names during this incident.

Donegan said Skoyen then pulled her off the bench and began to sexually assault her again and call her names despite the woman telling Skoyen to stop and that she was in pain.

After the assault, the two walked back to Skoyen’s vehicle. The woman testified she was in disbelief, shock, and in both emotional and physical pain. Donegan says the woman described being in a state of submission and just followed Skoyen’s direction.

On the way back to Skoyen’s vehicle the woman testified she did not recall  any discussion. She didn’t give any thought to running away because her vehicle was far away and she was in a city she didn’t know.

When they returned back to Skoyen’s vehicle, the woman  thought she would be dropped off back at her vehicle but Skoyen drove 15 minutes away to another area where the woman says she was sexually assaulted a second time.

While the two sat in the vehicle, the woman testified Skoyen grabbed her head aggressively and demanded she perform oral sex. When she didn’t, Skoyen pulled her from the vehicle and began having intercourse with her again.

While he did so, Donegan said he choked the woman and told her to stop fighting him.

Eventually when the sexual assault ended, the woman said Skoyen drove her back to her vehicle parked at the gas station. She exited his vehicle so quickly she didn't realize she left her purse behind until Skoyen called to her to retrieve it.

When she returned back to Kamloops, the woman says she was in extreme pain and decided to go to the hospital.

After she was examined, a physician filed a two-page report that listed her injuries including a bruised lip, scratches on various parts of her body, and extensive bruises to her legs, arms, and back. The woman filed a police report.

The next day after the assault, Skoyen texted the woman asking if she had enjoyed her time with him. When he did not get a reply back, he texted her again to say ‘You Alive? lol’.

The woman replied saying she was in quite a bit of pain and that her lip was bruised. She also told him he did things she had specifically told him not to do.

Skoyen testified the sexual acts between the two were completely consensual, Donegan says.  But the woman testified the only thing she consented to was on the park bench at the beginning of the evening when the pair first met up.

Throughout the trial, only two witnesses were called to testify, the victim and Skoyen. Donegan said she found the woman's testimony to be honest, reliable, careful and that she gave very detailed evidence. However, Skoyen's testimony lacked balance and at times throughout the trial Donegan found him to be argumentative, flippant, non-responsive and occasionally sarcastic. 

Donegan found Skoyen to have acted reckless and was willfully blind about the woman's lack of consent and found him to be guilty.

Skoyen is currently released on bail and is scheduled to appear back in court for July 8  to fix a date for sentencing. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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