Wolfville man testifies in own defence, denies sexually exploiting woman he bailed out of jail


Published on June 15, 2017

Tracey Dodds took the stand in his own defence as his trial continued in Kentville provincial court on June 15.

©Kirk Starratt

KENTVILLE, NS - Testifying in his own defence, a Wolfville man has denied allegations that he used a woman’s opiate addiction and threats of sending her back to jail to control and sexually exploit her.

The trial of Tracey Donald Dodds, 61, continued in Kentville provincial court on June 15 with Dodds being called to the witness stand by his defence lawyer, Brian Vardigans.

Dodds has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault; verbally conveying a death threat, sexual assault, unlawful confinement, inducing a woman to submit to sexual acts by threatening to revoke her surety, using threats of violence for the purpose of compelling the alleged victim to perform certain sexual acts and trafficking in hydromorphone.

It’s alleged that Dodds committed the offences in Wolfville between Feb. 13 and March 7. The charges have not been proven in court. He was denied bail and is being held in custody on a due course of law remand.

Dodds denied the allegations of the complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban. Dodds had bailed the woman out of jail and acted as her surety.

Her allegations included that he had used her opiate addiction and threats of pulling her bail to manipulate her. She alleged that he would dispense hydromorphone pills in exchange for sexual acts.

“I never had sex with her, ever,” Dodds said. “I can’t have sex.”

Dodds said he had shared a bed with the woman while they were storm-stayed in a hotel the night after he bailed her out of jail. He said he had touched her while he was reaching for a comforter to cover up with but this was accidental.

Dodds said he had no sexual interest in the complainant and that he is impotent. He said he never threatened to pull her bail.

“She’s got all kinds of problems,” Dodds said. “Why waste my time trying to be cruel to her when she had more problems than six people need.”

The woman had testified that Dodds had expressed a desire to have a child with her, which Dodds said was “laughable.”

Dodds testified that none of his hydromorphone pills went missing while the complainant was staying with him. He said he needed the prescribed pills for severe pain caused by kidney stones and that he wouldn’t give his hydromorphone to anyone.

He said they slept in separate beds in separate rooms while she was at his home and he would hide his hydromorphone pills in his pillowcase.

Vardigans asked Dodds if it was “unusual” for someone to act as a surety for a person he had never met before. Dodds had earlier said that he had learned of the complainant’s need for a surety from another woman he knew. This woman had been incarcerated with the alleged victim.

Dodds said he thought he had a “small connection” with the complainant and that he was doing a friend a favour. He had known a woman with a similar name and thought it was this individual that he was bailing out. Dodds said he soon realized it wasn’t the same person.

Doctor testifies

Dr. Martin Fleckenstein, Dodds’s doctor, had been called to the stand as the first defence witness earlier in the day.

Fleckenstein said he was Dodds’s family practitioner and that he’s known Dodds since February 2016. He said he has treated Dodds for hypertension, obesity, diabetes, impotence and kidney stones.

The doctor testified that he prescribed Dodds hydromorphone twice in February 2017 to treat pain associated with kidney stones. He testified that he prescribed Dodds Viagra in July 2016 and Cialis in January 2017 for impotence.

Dodds testified that the Viagra didn’t work. He said he didn’t get the prescription for Cialis filled because he thought about it and decided it would be a waste of money.

Trial adjourned

When the trial resumes, Dodds will be cross-examined by provincial Crown prosecutor Jim Fyfe and federal Crown Bill Watts. Fyfe said there might be “a rebuttal witness” called.

Because of scheduling conflicts, it took approximately 40 minutes for a return date to be decided on. Judge Ronda Van Der Hoek has adjourned the trial to June 23, although there’s already another full-day matter scheduled.

Dodds told the court that he should have been granted bail and, during a recess to find a date, he said that he should be released on his own recognizance.