NEWS
06/28/2011 07:47 EDT | Updated 08/28/2011 05:12 EDT

Dustin Paxton, Accused Of Confining and Assaulting Teen In Calgary, Denies Charges At Trial

CP

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- CALGARY - A man accused of confining and assaulting a former girlfriend in Calgary took the stand in his own defence Tuesday and denied the charges against him.

Dustin Paxton told the court that he "hooked up" with the then-17-year-old a half dozen times, but said the teen was never officially his girlfriend and he was never violent toward her.

Paxton, who is 31, said the teen told him she was 21 and when he found out her real age, all sexual activity stopped.

"I explained to her we couldn't continue anything intimate. I explained to her the severity of what she'd done and the damage to my reputation," said Paxton, speaking clearly and calmly.

"I was walking around downtown and assumed I was with a 21-year-old girl and she was 17."

Paxton is charged with forcible confinement, assault and sexual assault causing bodily harm involving the teen. The offences are alleged to have happened in early 2009.

It's the first of three trials for Paxton.

He was arrested last August after warrants were issued by police in both Calgary and Regina. He will go to trial in September on charges of assaulting and confining a former roommate who police say was tortured over a period of months before being dumped at a Regina hospital in April, 2010. A third trial involving two male complainants is scheduled for December.

The woman, who can't be named under a publication ban, testified Monday that Paxton suffered from "pretty major mood swings" and would hit her.

At one point, she recalled, he choked her almost to the point of unconsciousness during an intimate encounter. She told court she would refuse his sexual advances, but he would persist as if she was his property.

The young woman admitted she was a drug addict, but said she has been clean since March 2009.

Paxton said he never showed her anything but kindness.

"Absolutely not," he replied to a number of questions about whether he had ever hit her, forced her to have sex or put his hands around her neck.

"She's never been hurt at all," Paxton said. "She's always been treated with kindness and respect around my house."

He said it was the girl who became increasingly unpredictable and, at one point, attacked him with a knife.

A downstairs neighbour, who heard the couple yelling, called the police. No charges were laid but Paxton said that was the end of it for him.

"I made up my mind to end it. I had been in Calgary for two years and all of a sudden it was cops, cops, cops and getting attacked in my own house."

Closing arguments finished Tuesday afternoon. The judge will give his decision on Thursday.