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Regina sexual assault trial ends before it begins after 1st witness unable to testify

The jury at a sexual assault trial in Regina was dismissed on Monday only hours after it was selected. The sexual assault charge against Harvey Fedyk has been stayed. (Kirk Fraser/CBC - image credit)
The jury at a sexual assault trial in Regina was dismissed on Monday only hours after it was selected. The sexual assault charge against Harvey Fedyk has been stayed. (Kirk Fraser/CBC - image credit)

Regina Court of King's Bench, and a jury that was only just selected hours before, got a surprise on Monday afternoon.

When court broke for lunch at noon, the Crown intended to present its first witness in a sexual assault case after returning at 2 p.m. CST. That never happened.

Harvey Ronald Fedyk of Regina was charged with sexual assault in July 2021. He pleaded not guilty to the charge on Monday.

According to Regina Police Service, they received a call on July 2, 2021, about a sexual assault. The female victim said she had been drugged, rendering her unable to move, then sexually assaulted by a man who also had a gun.

Court heard on Monday that the alleged assault occurred on June 30, 2021.

The trial was expected to last from Monday to Friday, but upon the return to court Monday afternoon, Crown prosecutor Matthew Dahl informed the judge that the charge would need to be stayed.

The charge was stayed shortly after 2 p.m. and the jury was released.

Dahl told CBC afterward that the development was unexpected.

"There were supposed to be two witnesses, the first this afternoon. That person was not able to testify today," Dahl said.

"The second witness would have been available, but without the first witness the Crown wouldn't have been able to prove the offence beyond a reasonable doubt."

Dahl gave no details on why the witness was unable to to testify.