The Crown witness who said she brought Joseph Yaremko to her Saskatoon condominium building testified that she was just trying to help a friendly stranger.
Trisha Hall lived in the same Stonebridge complex where an alleged sexual assault took place, for which Yaremko has been charged.
Hall told court she spent most of the day with the Warman, Sask., man after he entered the Maduro Coffee & Tea office near 45 Street West in the north part of the city.
Court saw security video footage of a man entering the business, where Hall was working at the time, during the morning of June 3, 2019.
Hall testified that she left her workplace before 11 a.m. in order to help Yaremko.
She said when he first entered the business, he asked to use the phone.
Joseph Yaremko sentenced to 3 years in prison for assault on psychiatric centre employee
Hall said after speaking with him for several minutes, she found him to be a friendly stranger and someone that she felt like she had known for a long time.
She noted she didn’t tell any of her colleagues that she had left her post and that Yaremko had said that he was looking to book a hotel for some employees for his roofing business.
Hall said he didn’t know the name of the hotel and that she offered suggestions, but shortly after he noted that he had to meet his business partner.
She also said he appeared frazzled so she decided to bring him to her home on the 100 block of Wellman Crescent so he could have access to the internet.
Hall noted they stayed at her home from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where she fed him and he made plans to meet his business partner.
She agreed to drive him so Yaremko could meet his partner.
After that meeting, Hall said Yaremko asked her to drive him around to several residences and businesses.
During those stops, she said he would be out of her view for minutes at a time.
She noted after one of the stops, his hand was bleeding and contained shards of glass.
Hall said at this point she became concerned about her safety and the man in her vehicle.
She said they returned back to her home around 6 p.m. where they were joined by Hall’s roommate Jocelyn Lachapelle.
Hall and Lachapelle noted Yaremko began speaking more sexually at this time and becoming more aggressive with pursuits to sleep with the pair.
Both Hall and Lachapelle said they didn’t want to sleep with him.
However, Lachapelle said Hall engaged with his “aggressive flirting”, but she didn’t engage Yaremko when he tried to include her in the conversation.
It became so uncomfortable Lachapelle sent a message to one of Hall’s coworkers that they didn’t feel safe and he called the police.
Hall, who said she is also president of the building’s condo board, said at one point, she felt like she had given him time, rides to where he wanted to go and even an old cellphone and that she couldn’t do any more for him and simply wanted him to leave her home.
During cross examination, the defence questioned why Hall would take so much time out of her work day to help a stranger and not tell her coworkers where she was going.
Yaremko’s lawyer also asked Hall that despite her seeing concerns as they were driving to different locations, that she never felt the need to drive off and leave him.
She said she hoped by helping him that he would leave her alone and they could get on with their lives and that she felt like she was doing something good for a stranger and that he had left a duffel bag in her home.
Defence also asked Hall whether she had met Yaremko before, purchased drugs from him and whether he had been to her home or workplace before.
Hall answered no to all questions.
Defence brought up that she made the suggestion to Yaremko that he could stay over for the night and her and her roommate could share a room.
On the stand Hall disputed this, but the defence pulled up an interview Hall held with a Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) officer from July 4, 2019 where she said she asked him if he wanted to stay the night but noted that she didn’t mean it and was hoping he would leave.
Warman, Sask. man’s sexual assault, forcible confinement trial underway
Court also heard both lawyers agree that security footage from the apartment building showed Joseph Yaremko walking through the building on June 3.
Once police arrived, Lachapelle said she exited the building to speak with the officers.
Hall and Yaremko left shortly after and Yaremko can be seen quickly walking and eventually running down a different hallway while Hall left through the front door.
According to the testimony from Hall and Lachapelle, this would’ve taken place minutes before Yaremko is said to have entered the unit of the alleged victim.
The victim, a woman who was 21 years old at the time of the incident and who can’t be named because of a publication ban, took the stand on Monday.
On Wednesday, court also heard testimony from several SPS officers who said Yaremko had an arrest warrant from Craik RCMP when they arrested him on these charges.
The Crown has a few more witnesses set to take the stand Thursday while the defence will start to call its witnesses later that day.
Justice Naheed Bardai also issued a warrant for one of the defence witnesses who hasn’t responded to a request to appear in this trial.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.