Woman says rejecting Kamloops man turned him aggressive in alleged sexual assault

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO

KAMLOOPS - A second woman alleging sexual assault by a Kamloops man after a New Year’s Eve party says she had to tell him up to 20 times she didn’t want to be touched by him.

Her testimony comes one day after another woman testified she was raped by Mathew Rittinger, who is charged with two counts of sexual assault from Jan. 1, 2015.

Neither of the complainants in the case can be identified due to a court-ordered publication ban. The woman who testified today, Feb. 22, is referred to as Complainant Two and the woman who testified yesterday is Complainant One.

Complainant One testified by video from outside of the courtroom yesterday, while the other woman testified inside the courtroom but behind an obstacle, which blocked her face from being shown to the court gallery.

Complainant One testified yesterday that she woke up to Rittinger having sex with her while she was asleep.

Court has heard both complainants were at a party in Sahali on Dec. 31, 2014. After failing to catch a cab, Rittinger asked the women if they would like to stay at his place until the New Year’s Day cab rush slowed down.

Both women agreed and went back to his home. Crown prosecutor Camille Cook told the court yesterday that Complainant One had gone to sleep while Complainant Two and Rittinger allegedly went up to his bedroom.

Complainant Two testified in the Kamloops Supreme Court trial today that she and Rittinger were lying in his bed and chatting. It eventually led to kissing.

“There’s no issue with you about that kissing. That was consensual?” defence lawyer Kevin Church asked during cross-examination.

“Yes, it was consensual,” Complainant Two said.

The woman estimated she and Rittinger spent about five minutes or less kissing before she told him she was tired. She told the court she “wasn’t into it.”

She testified that, as an excuse, she told Rittinger she was really drunk and wanted to go to bed. In reality, she said, she had only had a few ounces of rum that night.

She said she rolled over so her back was facing him in the bed.

“I thought we were just going to go to sleep,” she said.

The woman testified she had told Rittinger at the Sahali house party that she appreciated his offer to stay at his house, but made it clear she did not want to have sex with him.

“I told him straight up… that I really appreciate it but I’m not going to sleep with him… at his house,” she said.

The woman isn’t sure if she ever ended up falling asleep, but says she was startled by Rittinger allegedly flipping her over and eventually pulled her on top of him.

She said he was aggressively grabbing near her vagina, both inside and outside of her pants while telling her they didn’t have to have sex, but they “should do something.”

“Come on, it’ll feel good, it’ll be fun,” he allegedly told the woman.

The woman testified she was trying to be nice at first and was saying she didn’t want to. She said she tried to diffuse the situation by saying they could hang out another time.

“But that didn’t stop him,” she said.

Rittinger allegedly kept grabbing the woman.

“I got really upset,” she said. “Then it turned into a struggle.”

The woman said she kept pulling Rittinger’s hand away and was eventually able to flip herself off of him. She testified that she told him “you’re so disgusting” before running out of the bedroom.

She said the unwanted touching went on for about 10 minutes and that Rittinger said to her “you were just kissing up on me, now you’re leaving me like this?”

He allegedly told her he was “really horny” and asked her why she wouldn’t just give him oral sex.

“I ran down the stairs in a panic,” she said.

She testified that her phone was dead so she found a laptop in the house to try and reach out for a ride home.

“Did you send messages to anybody?” Cook asked.

“Yes, multiple people,” the woman responded.

While she was on the computer, Rittinger allegedly came downstairs and said “Come on, you don’t have to be this way.”

He asked her to come upstairs with him and told her they would just sleep, the woman testified.

The woman said she responded by saying “Leave me alone, you’re a creep.”

“How many times do you think you told him you didn’t want this to happen?” Cook asked.

“Many, many times,” the woman said. “At least 20.”

But Church pressed the woman on her evidence.

“I’m going to suggest to you that at one point… you and Mr. Rittinger engaged in oral sex,” he said.

“No,” she replied.

“I’m going to suggest to you that that was consensual and it was by your initiation,” Church said.

“No… he was trying to convince me to,” she said.

Church also suggested the instance of Rittinger allegedly flipping the woman over was ‘playful’ and that when she told him no, Rittinger stopped.

The woman denied both of those suggestions, but agreed with Church when he suggested the woman wasn’t held in Rittinger’s residence against her will.

“It was open and free for you to leave the residence,” Church said.

The woman agreed, but said with a dead cell phone and no jacket, she wasn’t going to walk out.

“It was January, it was freezing,” she said.

The woman said she was in such a panic that she didn’t think to wake her friend, Complainant One, who was sleeping in the same home.

Complainant Two said she fell asleep while trying to send messages on the laptop and woke up later in the morning on Jan. 1. She told the court a friend had called a cab for her and she went to Rittinger's bedroom to ask him for his address.

But Rittinger began giving his own evidence today. He told the court that he and Complainant Two were kissing and touching each other in his bed when the woman got on top of him.

Church asked what Rittinger meant by touching each other.

"Grabbing each other's butts or something like that," he replied.

He said he began touching Complainant One's vaginal area over her pants while she was on top of him.

"She expressed that she did not want to have sex," Rittinger said.

"How did she express that?" Church asked.

"She said she wasn't going to sleep with me," Rittinger said.

He said Complainant Two had already told him earlier in the night she wasn't going to have sex with him, but he tried to persuade her to engage in oral sex.

"She wasn't, like, convinced right away," Rittinger said.

He said the woman didn't say no to him, so he kept trying to convince her. Eventually she began performing oral sex on him, but Rittinger said she suddenly stopped and came back to the head of the bed.

"I assumed she wanted me to reciprocate (the oral sex)," Rittinger said. "That's when I unhooked her bra."

He told the court the woman made it clear she didn't want to go any further, so he asked her why.

"I didn't really get a clear answer, so I was confused," Rittinger said.

He said he left the room after that. 

Rittinger is expected to continue giving evidence tomorrow and will be cross-examined by Cook.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 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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