A police officer accused of sharing intimate images, without consent, of a woman he was having an affair with took to the witness stand Tuesday afternoon.
He denied sending intimate photos without the woman’s authorization, claiming he always had permission.
A publication ban prevents the Sun from identifying the alleged victim or the police officer.
The man is charged with two counts of publication of an intimate image without consent and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The alleged victim testified on Monday, saying two photos of her naked and a video were found in the email account of a separate police officer, who was a close friend of the accused at the time. She repeatedly denied she ever gave consent for the photos of her to be shown to anyone else.
But the accused maintained he always asked for and received permission before showing the photos or video to anyone.
"I would never have done anything to hurt her. I was in love with this girl," he said under questioning from his defence lawyer, Joshua Weinstein.
"I wouldn’t have done anything to jeopardize that."
The two met through volunteer work in 2015 and started an affair in the first half of 2016. The relationship turned sexual and they started sending each other intimate photos over WhatsApp.
While he didn’t have a specific recollection of what was said or when, he testified he always believed he had permission when he showed the photos to others.
The accused said he showed the photos to others as a form of bragging about how attractive she was.
"Was there ever a time you were sent a photo and sent it off before you sought permission — a seductive or naked photo?" Weinstein asked the accused.
"No," the officer responded.
He also said he never pressured or forced the woman to send him naked photos of herself.
Under cross-examination from Crown attorney Ashleigh Smith, he said the affair was a "terrible" decision in hindsight.
Despite being a police officer at the time of the affair, he said he didn’t know it was a crime to share intimate images without consent because he had never dealt with a similar case. He said he always asked for permission to share images, though, because it was important to him.
"It was just important for me to get permission," he said.
He also disagreed with the suggestion he couldn’t remember specifically getting permission to share the photos because it never actually happened.
A friend of the accused testified Tuesday morning and said the man also showed him a naked photo of the woman.
While he told Smith he doesn’t have a complete memory of the first half of 2016, he recalled a car ride with the accused.
"We were just driving, I don’t know what we were talking about, we were maybe talking about the affair, and then the picture got brought up," he told the court.
The man testified the accused allegedly showed him a naked photo of the woman in a shower on his phone screen. He was only shown one photo and no video, he said.
Weinstein questioned the man about the incident. He testified he had a close friendship with the accused and they had a level of trust between them.
He also described an incident at a lake, where he said he spoke to the alleged victim about the nude photo he had seen. At the time, he testified she asked him about the photo and did not seem bothered by it.
Both the Crown and defence closed their cases in the three-day trial in front of Judge Robert Heinrichs on Tuesday.
Smith and Weinstein are expected to give their closing arguments in the case as it continues in Brandon provincial court this morning.
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