More than one person snapped photographs of a young man and a teenage girl engaged in sexual activity at a Pitt Meadows rave, while others illuminated the act with a flash light, a trial heard on Thursday.
A young man who took the photographs of the pair testified that they were first spotted in tall grass by a girl, who approached them and asked them their names.
“They told her they had just met,” said the man, who was called to give evidence at a trial for Dennis John Allen Warrington, accused of posting graphic photographs on Facebook of Colton McMorris and the girl having sex.
The girl and McMorris has left the dance floor to make out in a field. As a crowd gathered around them, their encounter escalated to oral sex and digital penetration, but no intercourse, the court heard.
“It began with five people and within minutes there was 12,” said the man, who took eight photographs of McMorris allegedly assaulting the intoxicated teen.
The young man, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was 17 at the time of the party, which was held on Sept. 10, 2010 at 12993 Harris Road, a large rural property.
He, too, was charged with distributing child pornography, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of distributing obscene material and was sentence in February to 12 months probation. He was also ordered to write an essay on the dangers of social media and a letter of apology to the victim.
The group that surrounded the couple included two Indo-Canadian men, who had been hired as “security” for the party.
The young man told the court the men had a flash light and video camera.
“It illuminated the lower half of her, not the upper half,” the man said when asked to describe where the flash light was being directed.
He, however, wasn’t the only person snapping photographs of the pair. He told the court everyone had their cell phones out.
The event eventually became the talk of the party.
“I knew no one would believe me,” the young man said as he explained why he decided to send the photographs he took to friends.
The man did not know McMorris and the young girl. He believed he had seen the young girl earlier – dancing and kissing one of his friends.
The man also revealed that he found out the girl’s first name at the party, but only learned her full identity only after graphic photographs were posted on Facebook by Warrington.
He said he did not give anyone permission to post his photographs on Facebook, nor did he share the photos on his profile.
“I’m not going to put photos of someone’s vagina on my Facebook profile,” he said when Crown asked why he refrained from posting them on Facebook.
Once the photographs appeared online, however, they began to spread like wildfire.
The young man eventually took credit for being the “photographer” and also revealed the identity of the girl in comments posted below a photograph uploaded by Warrington. In the comments, the man hinted he would upload more photographs later, but never did.
“I was getting an incredible amount of requests for the photographs,” said the man.
“So I made an empty promise. It was the talk of the youth population of this city.”
Although McMorris was accused of rape, the charge was stayed in February after Crown found the available evidence was unlikely to land a conviction.
The girl, however, continues to maintain that she did not consent to the sexual activity. When court proceedings against McMorris came to a halt, the girl – now a young woman – made a public plea for more witnesses to break the “code of silence” and come forward.
She said she has no memory of the event that took place during the party. RCMP have suggested she may have been drugged.
The trial for Warrington continues next week. Other partygoers, as well as experts in cyber crimes and Facebook are slated to testify.
TRIAL WHO IS WHO:
• Provincial Court Judge: Sheni Dossa
• Crown prosecutor: Wendy van Tongeren Harvey
• Defence: Marvin Stern