Pubdate: Fri, 17 Sep 2010
Source: Now, The (Surrey, CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Tom Zytaruk


Emotional Witness Details Surrey Border Guard's Strip Search; Defence
Highlights Inconsistencies

A young American woman who claims she was strip searched and sexually
assaulted by Surrey border guard Daniel Greenhalgh in a men's public
washroom at the Peace Arch border crossing broke down repeatedly under
cross-examination Thursday.

Greenhalgh is accused of sexually assaulting three female travelers at
that border crossing in 2007.

The witness, whose identity is shielded by a publication ban, sobbed
and dabbed her tears with a Kleenex as defence lawyer Joe McCarthy had
her recount the alleged ordeal, in B.C. Supreme Court in New

She said Greenhalgh had her strip in a cubicle, and she told him "I
don't feel comfortable," just before taking off her shirt. She'd
already removed her jeans, she said. "I didn't want him to see me."

"He said to me he still didn't know if I was hiding anything at all.
So he made me turn and face the wall."

Earlier this week the court heard that government policy requires that
strip searches be conducted by two guards of the same gender as the
person being stripped, and only with the approval of a superior
officer. Guards are not allowed to touch those being searched.

"First he patted down below," she said, and after that he "felt
around" under her bra.

Justice Frits Verhoeven briefly adjourned court twice to allow the
crying witness to regain her composure.

Earlier in the day, McCarthy pored over the minutiae of that night,
pointing out some inconsistencies in her recollection of events
leading up to the alleged crime.

"My memory knows what happened to me," she protested, adding she
recalls what "traumatized" her.

"I'm not going to remember how many sprinklers were on the lawn," she

The defence noted she'd had previous difficulty with immigration
issues at the border, and that she told Greenhalgh in the secondary
inspection bay that there'd been marijuana and cocaine in her car in
the past, but not this time. The court heard she told the border guard
this before he searched her car for drugs.

"He told me I would have two choices," she testified: Either she'd be
detained overnight, that it would go on her record and she'd be strip
searched in the morning, "or I could consent to be strip searched by

"It was a threatening tone," she said, "and he was telling me if I
didn't consent to certain things there would be consequences," she
told the court. "I was embarrassed and nervous and scared."

She said he told her to walk across the parking lot and then cross the
street to a building. "The restroom," she said.

She said she was released after her alleged ordeal and was driving to
Vancouver with her boyfriend when she told him what had happened, and
he became extremely upset.

The trial continues.  
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