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Kelowna  

Accused rapist takes stand

The man accused of raping a woman in West Kelowna two years ago took the stand in his own defence Wednesday and painted a very different picture of the night in question than the alleged victim did last week.

Last week, M, who's identity is protected under a publication ban, said she never once gave Jeremy Czechowski consent to touch her in the early hours of Feb. 21, 2016.

After leaving Sapphire nightclub just before 2 a.m., M and her friend B went to a house on Wiig Road in West Kelowna where Czechowski and several others had been drinking.

M testified that shortly after she arrived, Czechowski ripped off her underwear, and proceeded to rape her in an upstairs bedroom after she followed him to retrieve her purse from him.

On Wednesday, Czechowski testified M, who he had never met before, jumped on his lap as soon as she entered the home, and began flirting with him.

He said that as she was on his lap, he pulled at her underwear until it tore, but it was accidental.

Czechowski said he asked M if she'd like to go to an upstairs bedroom, and she said yes.

While the pair were upstairs, Czechowski says B came upstairs twice to check on them, and M told her she was fine. The second time, B said she was leaving, and Czechowski said B was “acting jealous because her friend was with me.”

After B left, Czechowski said he and M had “consensual sex” several times.

At one point, B came back to the house with her mother, T, to find M. Czechowski testified M came out to her friend's car, put one foot inside, before running back to the house, telling B she was “having fun.” B and her mother drove away.

Czechowski says M's demeanour changed at one point when he answered her phone, and he believes it was M's boyfriend calling.

“(M) flipped out, like went crazy,” he said. “I called somebody up, like, 'Somebody come up here and watch this.'”

Czechowski's friend came upstairs, and Czechowski says M kicked at him, before he grabbed her and “threw her back because she was attacking him.”

M then ran outside in her bare feet, before Czechowski's friend found her and brought her back.

“She had my keys in her hand and she told me she was looking for her car, and she kept saying, 'Where's (B), where's (B),' and it was explained to her by several people that she didn't have her car there, she got picked up downtown, and (B) left hours ago,” Czechowski said.

“After talking to her for a little bit she calmed down and went back to being normal ... it was like she went into a psychosis or something, I think she was just drunk.”

Czechowski said after M “calmed down,” they went back upstairs and had sex again. He said she then put her dress back on and left.

Czechowski's version of the events is markedly different from M's, who said at one point during the alleged rape, she ran downstairs to the kitchen to find a knife to protect herself, but was grabbed by the throat by Czechowski's friend and threatened.

A police officer found M in a nearby bush just before 7 a.m. and took her to the hospital. He said she appeared “disheveled, intoxicated and terrified.”

The Crown's cross examination of Czechowski begins Thursday.



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