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For week ended January 30, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Man Accused of Drugging, Assaulting Wife
Edmonton Alberta Canada News 26Jan00 D2
By Tony Blais: Court Bureau

EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA -- An LDS man in Edmonton is on trial, accused of using the so-called "date-rape drug" on his wife and sexually assaulting her. Paul Lesniak, 35, testified in his own behalf on January 25th, and denied that he ever possessed Rohypnol or put any in his wife's drink. The case has gained notoriety throughout Canada because it is one of the first involving Rohypnol.

"No. Other than alcohol, I didn't put anything else in her drink," said Lesniak. He claims that he neither sent nor received the e-mail messages about purchasing Rohypnol that police say they found on his computer. He says he has no idea how the messages ended up on his hard drive.

The case has become a sordid scandal where the truth behind Lesniak and his ex-wife Deanna's actions are obscured by their fighting and jockeying for position in a child custody battle.

Lesniak met Deanna in 1985 at an LDS chapel in Sherwood Park, an unincorporated suburb of Edmonton. They wed in 1985 and had four children. He is reportedly a member of the Sherwood Park 2nd Ward.

His ex-wife has accused him of sexually assaulting her four times from 1994 to 1998. She alleges that he drugged her on June 2, 1998 with the "date-rape drug." Earlier she testified that when she asked him if he'd drugged her, he told her she'd been raped and infected with AIDS, and that he would go to her funeral and laugh.

Lesniak, who is charged with administering a noxious substance, sex assault, aggravated assault, overcoming resistance and four counts of assault, admits taunting her, but says he didn't do any of the things he taunted her about. He also denies every assaulting her or his children, but admits they had a stormy relationship.

Both sides have introduced evidence that casts doubt on the claims of the other, including evidence of marital infidelity by Deanna with an LDS RCMP officer and Paul Lesniak's attempt at infidelity "to get even." Lesniak claims that Deanna fabricated evidence to support her "date-rape drug" claim.

See also:

Man refutes claim he was just friend of alleged victim
Edmonton Alberta Canada Journal 29Jan00 D2
By Duncan Thorne: Journal Staff Writer
Relationship more than 'platonic,' Lesniak trial hears

Wife taunted husband over affair, lawyer says in drug/assault case
Edmonton Alberat Canada Journal 28Jan00 D2
By Duncan Thorne: Journal Staff Writer
Accused denies using date-rape drug on spouse

Ex-hubby denies using date-rape drug
Edmonton Alberta Canada Journal 26Jan00 D2
By Duncan Thorne: Journal Staff Writer
Accused of sexually assaulting his wife after drugging her


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