Teen says in officer trial that RCMP officer courted her, abused her in private
October 17, 2023 By Andrew Bates, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Oct. 17, 2023, Saint John, N.B. – A girl testified Monday that when she was 16, a 27-year-old RCMP officer who wanted her hand in marriage would act “nice” around her family and show off his police gear, but would physically, emotionally and sexually abuse her in private.
The girl, now 18, was called to the stand Monday for the start of a scheduled seven-day trial for Osama Ibrahim, now 29, of Woodstock. Ibrahim pleaded not guilty last December to charges of assault, sexual assault, assault while using or threatening to use a baton, conductive energy weapon and handcuffs, assault while choking and breach of trust dated from Dec. 1, 2021, to Feb. 23, 2022.
Ibrahim’s lawyer, T.J. Burke, suggested the girl had invented the allegations of abuse because his client no longer wanted to marry her, which she denied, and questioned whether they actually were ever alone and unsupervised by family during his cross-examination.
The girl’s identity is the subject of a publication ban, and Brunswick News is withholding any details that may identify her.
On the stand Monday, the girl testified she worked for her family’s business in Saint John and Ibrahim first came into the business as a customer, dressed in his RCMP uniform, in December 2021. She said after two visits he began coming more often, became friendly with her father, and eventually was invited over to her family’s home.
On the stand, the girl was not always able to identify when exactly certain visits occurred, but generally could narrow them down to the month. She testified that, in January 2022, she was present for a video call where Ibrahim told her mother he was interested in proposing to the girl.
The girl said she’d told her mother she wanted to keep working and studying and did not want to get married until she was 19 or 20. She testified she heard Ibrahim tell her mother he was fine with that, and wanted that too, but wanted to get “ready for that.”
After that point, she said her father would make time for the two of them to be together upstairs when he came to visit at the business. On the second such visit, he started acting “not normal,” she said. She said during his visits, he would threaten her if she didn’t do as he said, including if she left the room.
She said in front of the family he was “nice,” showing off his Taser, handcuffs and baton, and at one point had her family follow him in his police car as he pulled someone over. In private, she said he would threaten to use the weapons on her if she told anything to her family, and would take her to places not covered by surveillance camera.
The girl said he would say things like, “I know more than you, I’m an RCMP, I can hurt you, I know people that can hurt you.” She said he put handcuffs on her tightly to “show how it works,” as well as hit her on the arm with his baton to demonstrate what he could do to her.
She said he would pinch her until her skin bruised or pull her hair, throw her against the wall and the floor, attempt to bite her cheeks, slap her, and attempt to choke her, including covering her mouth and nose.
Ibrahim would allegedly treat her “like a slave” and would say misogynistic things to her, the girl said, including “you can burn paper, you can burn girls, that’s how girls are, they mean nothing.”
She said she told him to stop what he was doing, and when he told her she was hurt “he would be happy,” saying “you’re not hurt, I know better than you.” She testified she wasn’t allowed to wear t-shirts to hide the bruises.
The girl testified he would touch her “wherever he could,” and he would try to touch her back, her chest and her breasts. When asked on cross-examination if he actually did it or was blocked, she said he would do it over her clothes and he would move his hands away.
Once in February, when the two were upstairs at the business, she said her sister came to join them. She said he continued getting “really close” and biting her, and when she was about to cry would start tickling her so she laughed instead. Crown prosecutor Christopher Lavigne played cellphone video taken by her sister, where a girl, speaking in Arabic, can be heard at times upset and at times squealing.
Other videos from a surveillance system showed him getting physically close to her while she worked downstairs at the business, with the two seen struggling in the video. In another video, Ibrahim is seen wearing his police uniform and bends her arm back so he can put handcuffs on her.
During cross examination, she told Burke she “cracked” and told her parents everything when Ibrahim was not in the province. Burke said in a conversation between her father and Ibrahim’s father, her father accused Ibrahim of “playing games” with her engagement.
Burke suggested the girl had invented the allegations of assault and emotional abuse because his client no longer wanted to marry her, which she denied. He said videos showing the two were joking or an “adolescent” type of flirting, and showed photos where she is seen holding his hand. Burke asked why she did not document her injuries and, if he tried to keep his actions private, why any surveillance video existed at all, and why family did not notice or step in if they were present at the restaurant.
She said at one point she was happy to be with him, and to be dating a police officer, before things got bad. She said while things that would happen while a family member was present, like the handcuff video, were not as forceful or painful, she still didn’t want it to occur. She also repeated that she did not tell family at first or show her injuries at home because Ibrahim had threatened her if she did.
Burke also suggested some elements of her testimony were not exactly as she described them in previous statements to a social worker, and asked for an adjournment to play the statement on Tuesday morning. The trial is scheduled to run for seven days and continues Tuesday.
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