CALGARY - A man the Crown alleges was tortured by his former roommate says he was beaten so viciously he thought he was going to die and he submitted to performing sex acts in the hope that would make the attacks stop.
"Personally, I thought it was disgusting. I was in survival mode," the man, who can't be named, told court Tuesday. "I would do anything not to get beaten any more."
It was his second day testifying at the trial of Dustin Paxton, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault, sexual assault and forcible confinement. The charges were laid after the man was dumped — starved, battered and beaten — at a Regina hospital in the spring of 2010.
Tuesday was the first time the witness discussed the allegations of sexual assault. He said Paxton would require him to provide sexual favours that "escalated" over time.
"I was still getting beaten the whole time and I would do anything not to get beat."
Court has already heard how the man, 28, considered Paxton, 31, a close friend when the two knew one another in Winnipeg.
When asked to describe how he views Paxton now he replied:
"Evil. He's smart, mean, twisted."
The alleged victim testified on Monday that the beatings started in October 2008 on the day he joined Paxton in Calgary and the two started a business together. He said he was soon sharing a house with Paxton and the beatings were an everyday occurrence. He also said the attacks would happen over the smallest things, such as leftovers in the fridge.
He testified earlier that he took the abuse because he didn't want to seem like a sissy and had dreams of making big money in Calgary.
The worst beating came a year after he moved west and put him in the hospital for months, he said Tuesday.
"He gave me the huge punch to the face that cracked my skull," he said.
"I was beat up with a two-by-four that broke every one of my ribs and ruptured my bowel. He probably hit me 25 times. He was hitting me in all different ways. I was standing there and I had to let him hit me."
He remembered lying on the floor for nearly a day afterward in what he called "insane pain."
"I thought I was going to die. I was in so much pain. I couldn't breathe.
"I said, 'Dude, I'm not doing so good. Call an ambulance.'"
The witness said he passed out on the way to the hospital and woke up three days later. He had a cracked skull and his eye socket was totally crushed.
The hospital was told that a pizza oven had fallen on him.
The series of surgeries that followed kept him a patient for a couple of months.
The trial, now in its sixth week, has already heard vivid descriptions of the injuries the man suffered over the course of time — bruises, cuts, broken bones, internal bleeding. Most of his lower lip was destroyed.
"I got too many punches in the face. My lips would get cut on my own teeth until there was nothing left of them," he said.
He told customers of their business that the constant injuries happened because he was "into boxing."
He said he never contacted police despite the abuse because he was "too scared."
Defence layer Jim Lutz suggested in his cross-examination that Paxton had never asked the witness for any sexual favours.
Lutz asked if any actual words were spoken by his client demanding sexual conduct.
"No. Not directly," the witness replied.
"There were gestures. There were certain things that led to certain things," he added.
"My mind was a bit foggy."
Lutz also noted the witness wasn't able to remember several interviews he had done with Regina police after he was in hospital.
The man, supported by his stepfather on the stand, has been testifying behind a screen so that he can't see Paxton.
During Tuesday's testimony, Paxton grew visibly agitated, grimacing and shaking his head when allegations of sexual assault were discussed. At one point, an angry Paxton jumped to his feet but was quickly ordered to sit down by security personnel.
Court heard that when the two roommates shut down the Calgary business, they moved from motel to motel where the man slept on bathroom floors. Eventually they moved to Regina.
The beatings and sexual abuse continued, the man said, but it was at that time that his memory began to get a bit cloudy.
"It was really rough. I didn't have any lips left. I got hit all the time. I got sexually abused. My memory kind of goes out after that."
He said his strongest recollection of Regina was being hungry all the time. After that he remembered little until he woke from a coma in a city hospital.