Testimony wraps up at Charlottetown sexual assault jury trial

·2 min read
Stephanie Douglas, who says she developed a serious infection as a result of an alleged assault at the hands of Edward Mundle in 2014, arrives at P.E.I. Supreme Court on Thursday.   (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
Stephanie Douglas, who says she developed a serious infection as a result of an alleged assault at the hands of Edward Mundle in 2014, arrives at P.E.I. Supreme Court on Thursday. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)

Testimony of a psychiatrist at the trial of a Charlottetown man accused of sexual assault refuted claims by the man's defence lawyer that the alleged victim is mentally unstable.

Dr. Heather Keizer testified that Stephanie Douglas did not have "psychosis or hallucinations" when Keizer examined Douglas during her Queen Elizabeth Hospital stay to be treated for a severe infection.

Keizer was testifying as an expert witness Friday in P.E.I. Supreme Court, at the jury trial of Edward Thomas Mundle, 58.

Mundle has pleaded not guilty to the sexual assault of Douglas on New Year's Day 2014 — an incident Douglas says led to her developing sepsis and requiring hospitalization.

"She was quite articulate," Keizer testified, recollecting her one-hour consultation with Douglas in a hospital room on Jan. 24, 2014.

"This woman did not have psychosis or hallucinations."

Crown prosecutor Lisa Goulden called Keizer as a witness after the court heard from a psychiatrist who testified for Mundle and gave analysis on psychiatric issues raised by Douglas's hospital records. Those records included notes from Keizer.

Trial revolves around consent

Douglas testified on the second day of the trial, and told the jury she did not give her consent for what she says happened to her in the basement of Mundle's home in Charlottetown.

Douglas testified she and Mundle had been dating and engaging in consensual dominant/submissive sexual activity, but said that on the date in question, he disregarded a pre-arranged "safe word" and sexually assaulted her.

Douglas described herself to the jury as a long-time community advocate for social justice, having done work in issues of mental health and homelessness, including award-winning work as a journalist.

Edward Thomas Mundle, 58, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual assault against Stephanie Douglas.
Edward Thomas Mundle, 58, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual assault against Stephanie Douglas. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Keizer testified Friday about how she and two medical students perceived Douglas that day at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

"Her style — I described it as grandiose. She filled the room," Keizer testified.

"I was teaching two male medical students who perhaps had not encountered a woman of her articulate, forceful nature. They asked if she was bi-polar. They took that as evidence of pathology ...

"I told them: 'You need to diagnose someone a little more carefully.'"

Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Peter Ghiz, Keizer testified Douglas had previously been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suffered from nightmares and flashbacks.

Keizer refuted the defence's contention that Douglas had been on psychiatric medication for decades. The psychiatrist called Douglas's mental health treatment for PTSD "long term but not extensive."

Testimony ended Friday.

Lawyers are slated to make closing arguments Monday. Then Chief Justice Tracey Clements will direct the jury of eight men and four women to begin deliberations.

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