Warning: Contains graphic content

The trial of 49-year-old Gioulian Nikdima on charges of sexual assault causing bodily harm began on at the Court of Queen’s Bench on Monday in Regina.

The charges stem from an alleged incident in March 2016 that started as a date initiated on an online dating site. Nikdima and the alleged victim were left a restaurant in South Regina to go for a walk in a rural area on the outskirts of the city.

The defence said the woman initiated sexual intercourse, citing some explicit language used, which they said made the act consensual. The defence also argued that the alleged victim did not explicitly say she did not want to engage sexually with Nikdima.

However, the Crown said consent is not a matter of the absence of “no,” but instead the absence of saying “yes.” The Crown Prosecutor said in this case the alleged victim never said yes.

The incident is alleged to have happened in the back seat of Nikdima’s vehicle, which the defence said would not be possible based on the size of the vehicle.

The Crown added the alleged victim felt she could not get away from the man and feared further harm would come to her if she further attempted to stop the attack.

The Crown also referred to statements from medical experts who examined the alleged victim in the days following the incident. The expert deemed a “three-centimetre laceration near [the alleged victim’s] anal cavity,” to have been caused by force, and claimed it was the worst she has seen in more than 300 examinations.

The defence questioned the accuracy of the measurement, as certain tests were not able to be performed due to discomfort shown by the victim at the time of the exam. Nikdima’s struggles with English as a second language were cited by the defence as the reason for his inconsistent accounts about the incident between two police interviews.

Justice Kovach will review the evidence and arguments submitted and the next court date is set for September 5.

With files from CTV's Joey Slattery