UPDATED: Pitt Meadows city councillor testifies at his sex assault trial

David Murray tells court he hired teens to help with an upcoming auction

Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray spent the second afternoon of his sexual assault trial on Tuesday denying he had taken advantage of the complainant’s trust.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a former employee, who cannot be named because of a publication ban, back in 1992. He repeatedly denied that he called her in early one morning, asked to practice a massage on her, and then rubbed his hands up her legs and into her genitals.

READ MORE: Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by Pitt Meadows councillor

”You found her attractive and she confided in you,” Crown counsel Wendy Wakabayashi suggested during a cross-examination.

Murray acknowledged that the complainant was attractive, but said she was by far not the only youth to confide in him.

“You could tell from the way she interacted with you that she enjoyed the attention,” Wakabayashi said.

“That’s conjecture,” Murray replied.

The councillor told the court that he hired the complainant, and her coworker, for a three-day auction in September 1992.

Murray said he assumed both were around 17. He said he learned after the auction they were both actually 14, and that he never questioned their age, despite visits he called “disconcerting” from both girls’ parents.

Wakabayashi asked why Murray had hired two seemingly random girls, whose ages he did not even know, to work at what Murray had said was a high-priced auction with items worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Murray said news coverage of the auction leading up to it had made him “panic” when he realized he didn’t have anyone to help him. As a result, he approached two girls who had been hanging around the store with some boys.

“You wanted girls to help you for the auction… because your customers were male,” she said.

“Yes,” Murray replied.

Timeline questioned

Earlier that day, Crown and defence lawyer J.R. McRoberts sought to narrow down the timeline of the alleged assault.

The complainant had said she’d been 13 or 14 years old at the time, working for Murray during the “warmer weather months” in 1992, but that she could be wrong. Both lawyers have now seemingly agreed she worked for Murray during one three-day weekend.

The complainant’s boyfriend at the time also testified that neither he nor she had used drugs together, not had the complainant while they were dating. The complainant had told the court the day before that she had been using marijuana, pills and alcohol every day.

Murray, first elected to Pitt Meadows council in 2011, had also been charged with sexual interference of a person under the age of 14. But that charge was stayed because Crown has been unable to confirm exactly how old the woman was at the time.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Maple Ridge council wants a bolder vision for Lougheed corridor

Mayor wants big city plans for western area

RCMP Cram the Cruiser event tops last year’s

More food, cash collected in Pitt Meadows

Students take control of conflict resolution in SD42

A Restorative Justice program is being piloted at three SD42 schools

Mixed Nuts a second year tradition for Maple Ridge dancer

Mixed Nuts is a unique interpretation of The Nutcracker

Pitt Meadows band takes all at The Roxy

Typical Dreamers win $5,000 in Vancouver competition

VIDEO: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it is girding for battle with a host of new streaming services

320 years since the ‘Big One’ doesn’t mean it’s overdue: B.C. professor

‘It could happen today, tomorrow or 100 years from now’

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

B.C. coroner asking for help identifying man found dead in Peace region

Mounties have deemed the man’s death not suspicious and believe he died earlier this year

SkyTrain strike to begin Tuesday with ‘full shutdown’, CUPE says

BCRTC president says job action is ‘completely unacceptable’ to use SkyTrain users ‘as leverage’

Accused Abbotsford school killer due back in court after psych assessment

Gabriel Klein could possibly be found ‘not criminally responsible’

Lawyer competence includes knowledge of Indigenous-Crown history: B.C. law society

All practising lawyers in B.C. will be required to take a six-hour online course covering these areas

Wealth of Canadians divided along racial lines, says report on income inequality

One interesting finding was that racialized men have a higher employment rate than non-racialized men

VIDEO: Giants earn a teddy bear toss victory Sunday at Rogers Arena

G-Men suit up next on Saturday, Dec. 14 when they take on the Everett Silvertips in Washington

Most Read