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Montreal doctor accused of sexual assault on young woman says encounter was consensual

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Warning: This story contains details of sexual assault. 

A Montreal doctor accused of sexually assaulting a young woman in 2020 denied the allegations in court today, testifying that the sexual encounter was consensual.

Stephan Probst, 46, who is the former head of nuclear medicine at the Jewish General Hospital and is listed as an assistant professor at McGill University, is accused along with Wendy Devera, 30, of sexually assaulting a woman at his apartment on Aug. 28, 2020.

On Thursday, the complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, testified that she went to Probst's penthouse apartment after matching with Devera on a dating app. She testified that at the time, she had been interested in experimenting sexually with women but had a boyfriend and had made it clear she was not interested in having sex with another man.

She alleges that she was drugged and sexually assaulted.

Testifying in his own defence, Probst said he and Devera, who is now in a monogamous relationship, were "sex friends" at the time and had around 40 threesomes with different women. Devera, he says, would match with "younger women" on dating apps and bring them back to Probst's apartment.

Probst admitted that he had been aware at the beginning of the night that the complainant was not interested in having a threesome, that she had a boyfriend, and that she was only interested in sex with Devera, but he said he had been hopeful that she might change her mind as the night went on.

Probst testified that Devera and the complainant both consumed about 30 milligrams of the drug MDMA and that he had prepared it for them by mixing the powder substance into water. He insisted the complainant consented to taking the drug.

At around midnight, Probst says all three of them went into his hot tub and it was at that time that he says he made his only sexual advance on the complainant, which he says she politely refused.

The complainant testified on Thursday that the advance made her uncomfortable, but Probst testified that he had not noticed a change in her demeanour.

The testimonies diverged after the hot tub when he refuted the complainant's claim that she was having sex with Devera in a bedroom when Probst entered and started sexually assaulting her.

Probst claims all three people entered the bedroom together naked. Probst testified that the complainant seemed receptive this time and didn't say no like she had in the hot tub. He testified that there was no doubt that she had given him consent.

Probst believed the night had gone well and testified that he thought they would see the complainant again. He says she seemed like she had had a good time.

In cross-examination, prosecutors implied Probst and Devera had planned to have a threesome with the complainant from the beginning, which Probst denied.

"It was not the plan," he said. "The goal was not to have sex. The goal was to have a nice night. A threesome was one of the possibilities."

Prosecutors also questioned Probst about how he knew the complainant had given consent. Probst admitted the words were never said but claimed the complainant was aware of what was going on, looked at him, and seemed OK with what he was doing.

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