Crown questions bar promoter's recollection of alleged sexual assaults

Edmonton bar promoter Matthew McKnight was questioned about his sex life, drinking habits, and recollection of 13 alleged sexual assaults during his cross-examination Friday. 

McKnight, 32, is accused of sexually assaulting 13 women between 2010 and 2016.

He has pleaded not guilty to all offences in Edmonton's Court of Queen's Bench.

His testimony concluded in the morning with a statement by McKnight. 

"I'm extremely embarrassed by the shallow lifestyle that I was leading," McKnight told the court. 

"I have shamed myself, I have lost many friends, I have embarrassed my family, my mom especially.

"I want everyone to know that, as flawed of a person as I am, and as promiscuous as I was, I did not sexually assault these women."

Crown prosecutor Mark Huyser-Wierenga began his cross-examination by asking McKnight how many women he had had sexual encounters with between 2010 and 2016.

"Two hundred, three hundred, maybe," McKnight answered. 

Huyser-Wierenga then questioned McKnight's recollection of the events that transpired on the nights of the alleged offences, expressing surprise that he was able to remember precise details. 

"There was no reason for the granular detail of these interactions of young women to stay in your mind?" he asked. 

"That's correct," said McKnight, who spoke in a calm and confident manner, dressed in a dark blue suit with a pink shirt.

The Crown suggested that the accused's recollection of events was partly prompted through pictures, text messages, and the complainants' own testimonies. 

"That's true," McKnight said, adding that he independently recalled many details. 

Huyser-Wierenga also asked McKnight about his drinking habits, suggesting that alcohol was an important part of his life at the time. 

"I drank quite frequently, yes," answered McKnight. 

McKnight told the court that, for him, a light evening of drinking constituted of about eight alcoholic drinks. He added that he drank up to four times a week.

The Crown prosecutor also pressed McKnight regarding text messages he sent to one of the complainants, where he described himself as "blacked out."

McKnight answered that the descriptor was an exaggeration, used to hide the fact that he was spending his time with other women.

When asked by Huyser-Wierenga if he ever used the drug GHB, which mimics the intoxicating effects of alcohol, McKnight answered "no."

He said that the drug was used recreationally in the bar industry, as well as other illegal substances, like MDMA and cocaine. 

McKnight's cross-examination is expected to continue Monday.