Victim of alleged gang sexual assault recalls ‘horrifying’ feelings of intoxication

The victim of an alleged gang sexual assault at a Toronto bar said she tried to escape but felt “frozen” during the night of the incident.

“I was trying to get out,” she told a court Thursday morning. “It felt like my head and my body were not cooperating.”

The woman, whose identity is protected under a publication ban, was allegedly assaulted at the College Street Bar in Little Italy beginning on the evening of Dec. 14, 2016. Crown prosecutors say the assault lasted until the next morning.

Former bar owner Gavin MacMillan, 44, and manager Enzo De Jesus Carrasco, 34, each face charges of gang sexual assault, administering a stupefying drug and forcible confinement. De Jesus Carrasco also faces two additional charges of sexual assault.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Thursday’s testimony was the first time the alleged victim has given a jury her account of the incident.

Crown prosecutors have argued that MacMillan and De Jesus Carrasco plied the woman with alcohol and encouraged her to snort cocaine before sexually assaulting her. They say she did not have the mental capacity to consent to the sexual acts that took place.

In her testimony, which took place via video link, the woman described feeling intoxicated and unable to defend herself against the two men. She said the effects became most pronounced after consuming a drink that she did not watch being made.

Asked by the Crown if she had ever experienced a similar sensation, the woman said no.

“It was horrifying. I couldn’t do anything,” she said. “I felt very sick and I felt like I was looking through a fish lens.”

Though the woman said she can only recall “bits and pieces” of the incident, she named MacMillan and De Jesus Carrasco as the attackers.

She said De Jesus Carraso made her the drinks and that MacMillan later forced her to perform oral sex in a storage room.

The woman also described having sex in a downstairs room, which she described as rape.

“Every time I tried to get dressed, they wouldn’t let me,” she added.

The jury previously watched around nine hours of security video from inside the bar, though only portions of the footage were displayed to media and members of the public at court.

The jury’s decision in the case will hinge on if the woman consented or had the capacity to consent to having sex with the two men.

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