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Lawyers make sentencing arguments in Matthew Percy case

·2 min read
Matthew Percy is shown outside a Halifax provincial court courtroom on June 19, 2018. (Brian MacKay/CBC - image credit)
Matthew Percy is shown outside a Halifax provincial court courtroom on June 19, 2018. (Brian MacKay/CBC - image credit)

A former groundskeeper at Saint Mary's University faces a lengthy stint in prison for raping a young woman in her university dorm room in December, 2014.

Matthew Albert Percy was convicted following a trial in February of last year.

On Friday, lawyers for the Crown and defence appeared in Nova Scotia Supreme Court to make sentencing arguments.

Those included testimony from an expert in sexual deviancy who conducted a sex-offender risk assessment on Percy.

Crown prosecutor Rick Woodburn is recommending a seven-year sentence while Percy's lawyer, Michelle James, is advocating for 4½ years.

Decision later this month

Justice Joshua Arnold has reserved his decision until the end of this month.

Woodburn read a victim impact statement into the record.

"My body was marked for a time, reminding me daily of the event," the woman wrote.

"But when the physical marks had faded, I was still left with a shattered mental image of myself and flashbacks to the acts that Percy had committed against me."

Victim relates ongoing trauma

The woman wrote of the ongoing trauma and how the rape has shattered her trust and made interacting with others difficult.

She said she had to tell professors of the attack in order to persuade them to postpone her exams. Then she faced a crushing workload in the following January as she tried to finish those exams and keep up with her course load for the next term.

Percy had tried to argue that the aggressive sexual activity that night was consensual. But Arnold didn't accept that.

A total of four women have accused Percy of sexually assaulting them.

He was acquitted in one case and that acquittal was upheld on appeal. Including this case, for which he is awaiting sentencing, Percy has been convicted twice so far.

He is still awaiting a fourth trial.

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