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Complainant in Krysta Grimes sex trial wary of testifying in court

Krysta Grimes, a substitute teacher in St. John's, is on trial for sexual exploitation. (Malone Mullin/CBC - image credit)
Krysta Grimes, a substitute teacher in St. John's, is on trial for sexual exploitation. (Malone Mullin/CBC - image credit)

A former student who alleges he had sexual contact with a St. John's high school teacher in 2018 asked Thursday morning to testify at her trial by video conference.

The man, who was under 18 at the time of the alleged incident and can't be identified due to a publication ban, told Crown prosecutor Jacqueline MacMillan that he felt stress and anxiety at the prospect of testifying in person at Supreme Court on Thursday.

He said in an affidavit that speaking in front of the accused, the judge and members of the public worried him to the point it would affect his ability to give evidence, but that he wanted to testify by CCTV.

MacMillan argued allowing the request would both avoid potential retraumatization for the complainant and encourage him to give the most thorough possible testimony.

The accused, 34-year-old Krysta Grimes, is charged with one count of sexual exploitation, accused of having sexual contact with the student at the high school where she worked.

Her lawyer, Rosellen Sullivan, argued the complainant hadn't shown any sign of being traumatized by any alleged contact.

"Being uncomfortable … is insufficient," Sullivan said. "[Court is] an uncomfortable place to be. I can guarantee you Ms. Grimes is pretty uncomfortable."

Sullivan pointed out the complainant told police the alleged sexual contact was not forced and that he felt relatively unbothered by it. "He is very clear he thought nothing of this at the time," Sullivan said.

"He's not traumatized by this."

Sullivan also pointed to text messages to Grimes from the complainant asking for copies of a test, suggesting the student was exploiting her.

"He's obviously not threatened by this person," she said.

Justice Vikas Khaladkar will give a decision on the complainant's request to testify by video Friday morning.

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