The trial for a Red Deer pastor who has been charged with sexual assault continues in court this week.
Stan Schalk, 57, has been charged with one count of sexual assault.
The victim, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was the only witness to testify during the first day of the trial, which was held last month.
The alleged offense took place between June 15th-30th, 2015. The victim was working for Schalk at his residence doing some painting and staining. The job was offered to her after Schalk learned the victim was in need of financial help.
Schalk testified that his relationship began with the victim after her best friend’s daughter passed away. “We began planning the funeral and through that we became pretty good friends after that.”
During the victim’s testimony last month, she recounted incidents where her and Schalk embraced and he ran his hands down her back and grabbed her buttocks. She also testified about an incident in which Schalk drove her near Delburne without telling her where they were going. She said in that instance, Schalk took her to a favourite spot of his where they had lunch and where he touched her left breast.
During Schalk’s testimony on Monday in Red Deer’s Provincial Court, he recalled having, “Lengthy embraces” with the victim.
“I don’t recall that happening (touching the victim’s buttocks). I’m not saying it didn’t happen; it may have happened, but it was not something we talked about after.”
Schalk also testified that he took the victim on a picnic – something the victim testified that was a surprise to her. “On the Monday we agreed we would go on a picnic. The idea was to go for about an hour. She knew full well that we were going on a picnic.”
Schalk said once at the spot for their picnic, they sat down on a blanket and talked.
“It was mostly conversation. We ended up in an embrace laying on the blanket. I had my hand on her back. My hand moved to under her shirt and to the front of her stomach. I moved my hand under her bra onto her left breast and touched and felt her breast. She either said you shouldn’t do that or we shouldn’t do this,” he said, adding he asked the victim if he could hold his hand there for a couple of seconds. “She put her hand on my hand and said move your hand. I moved my hand.”
Schalk added the victim questioned why he did that. “I was defensive because I was not understanding why she was surprised. We sat for a bit and talked about what happened. I knew we had gone past the point of no return. I was ashamed. I knew we both did something we shouldn’t have that day.”
He added the next morning him and the victim spoke about how that could not happen anymore.
“I was not acting like a married man, a Christian or a pastor.”
In the following days, Schalk traveled to Florida with his wife to see his son play in a volleyball tournament, adding there continued to be lengthy phone calls with the victim during his time away.
The trial continues this morning as Schalk remains on the stand. Proceedings stopped on Monday in the early afternoon after Defense Lawyer Lorne Goddard said he was given disclosure at the lunch break by the crown prosecution regarding defense witnesses.
“I need time to find out what this means,” he said.