What a rape trial looks like: Inside the court room for eight days of a sexual assault prosecution

OnTrialForRapeByAnnBrocklehurst

My series about a criminal rape trial is now an Amazon ebook.

This true story tells the tale of an alleged victim, seventeen years old at the time, and her alleged assailant, a star athlete on his way to winning a full sports scholarship to a US university.


“I said, ‘Stop, you’re being ridiculous.’ I kept repeating stop. I asked him, ‘Please take me home.’ He said, ‘You want it,’ and put the passenger seat back.”


She had substantial credibility problems on the witness stand. His testimony seemed far more convincing—most of the time. But this was more than just a “she said, he said”—or, as it turned out, “she lied, he lied”—case. There was an element of physical evidence against him: bruises on her arms and legs. The judge had to decide if the totality of the prosecutors’ case against the defendant was enough to send him to jail, brand him a sexual offender, and destroy his promising future.

Despite its sensational nature, this was a case that never made headlines. What I observed during my reporting was the farthest thing from a Jian Ghomeshi courthouse scene, with mobs of press and police. I was the sole reporter at the superior court trial and, on most days, the only observer not directly related to the case. The mother and grandmother of the accused, whom I will call Matthew in the reports that follow, attended throughout the trial. The complainant, who will be known as Ava, was supported by a representative from victim services and the detective in charge of her case.


“You left your panties behind,” says the defence lawyer, who reminds me of Matlock.  “No I did not,” replies the weeping complainant


Ava’s family and Matthew’s father were not permitted in the courtroom as they were all considered to be potential witnesses. They spent much of their time in the courthouse hallways, pacing or sitting nervously. Like everyone else, they knew that the events unfolding on the other side of the courtroom door would deeply affect the two young people’s lives.

The first two chapters of On Trial For Rape can be read for free here. To read the entire story, you can buy the ebook on Amazon:

Part 1: She Said
Part 2: Are You Sure?
Part 3: Can the Complainant Continue?
Part 4: The Facebook Test
Part 5: He Said
Part 6: “I’m Not a Rapist”
Part 7: Closing Arguments
Part 8: The Verdict


The complainant is reporting someone to the judge for making faces in court. “It was the girl with black hair,” she tells Justice Trotter, referring to the mother of the accused


Buy On Trial For Rape on Amazon

I’ll be watching on Amazon for your feedback and reviews.

3 thoughts on “What a rape trial looks like: Inside the court room for eight days of a sexual assault prosecution

  1. Looking forward to the next 4 parts. The suspense is eating away at me inside I started searching google for Ms. Kerr’s recent trials to see if I can find out the outcome. Spoiler alert – Isn’t looking good for the Crown right now – but without knowing the outcome there could be a crazy twist to this story. When is the rest of this well written case coming out?

    Also – you must of been a court reporter once upon a time or you bought the transcript.

    • Glad you’re hooked. The last four parts will come out next week starting tomorrow.

      The judge let me take notes on my computer, but I still missed some dialogue.

      There were enough good bits that it didn’t really make a difference though.

  2. Thank you for the exciting read of your 8-piece story of that trial. Very interesting, well written, it was fun to read. Hopefully i can read more by you in the future (i already have your ebook about Jeffrey Boucher on my kindle :-)).

    All the best
    Wolfgang

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