Trial underway for man accused of 2017 sex assaults

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A judge alone trial for a 27-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting three girls in their early teens began in NWT Supreme Court on Monday.

Joshua ‘Taz’ Desjarlais, faces three counts of sexual assault.

It’s alleged that in September 2017, Desjarlais had sex with two 14-year-old girls and one 15-year-old girl in Yellowknife over a two-week span.

Desjarlais was 25-years-old at the time of the alleged offence.

Three alleged victims began their testimony – using a testimonial aid to block the accused from sight – during day-one of the trial Monday.

Two of the three alleged victims were allowed to continue their testimony via video after the pair found it too difficult to take the stand. The two alleged victims were set to complete their testimony Tuesday afternoon.

The court saw video footage Tuesday morning of Desjarlais being interviewed by RCMP in October of 2017.

The trial, according to prosecutors, could last all week.

Desjarlais remains in custody at North Slave Correctional Complex (NSCC).

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As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility to be there - day or night, rain or shine. When I’m not at court gathering stories, I’m in the office, making calls to lawyers, emailing RCMP and tracking down sources. After hours, I rely on the public to let me know what’s happening and where. Entering my second winter in Yellowknife since leaving my hometown of Peterborough, Ont., in October 2017, everyday on this beat continues to be challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. Got a story? Call me at (867) 766-8288 or shoot me an email at editorial@nnsl.com.

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