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DNA test leads to charge in Kamloops cold case

A man is behind bars awaiting trial on allegations he sexually assaulted a Kamloops woman in 2015 — a charge that was laid as a result of a positive DNA test years later, a judge has been told.
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A man is behind bars awaiting trial on allegations he sexually assaulted a Kamloops woman in 2015 — a charge that was laid as a result of a positive DNA test years later, a judge has been told.

Arlen Mattess, 38, is facing one count of sexual assault.

Court heard Mounties making regular patrols found a heavily intoxicated woman on the North Shore on April 22, 2015.

She was covered in dirt and struggling to stay on her feet.

The woman told officers she had only consumed two drinks and was unsure why she was so drunk, court heard.

The woman was arrested for being drunk in public and taken to jail to sober up.

While at the Kamloops RCMP detachment, court heard, investigators noticed the woman’s underwear appeared to be on sideways.

As a precaution, police transported the woman to Royal Inland Hospital where a sexual assault test turned up foreign bodily fluids.

The woman told police she had no recollection of sex and had not been consensually sexually active since an encounter with her boyfriend three days earlier.

Earlier this year, a DNA test matched bodily fluids found on the woman to Mattess, court heard, to a probability of six-trillion to one.

Court heard the woman, whose identity is protected by a court-ordered ban on publication, told police she does not know anyone with the name of the accused.

A charge was laid on June 20 and Mattess appeared in Kamloops provincial court on Thursday, where he was denied bail.

“The circumstances are very egregious if she was so intoxicated that she has no memory and no capacity to consent,” Kamloops provincial court Judge Stella Frame said in denying Mattess bail.

Defence lawyer Alexander Watt said the issue at trial will be consent.

Mattess is slated to return to court on Jan. 25 for a preliminary inquiry.

Preliminary inquiries are hearings that are held to determine if there is enough evidence to send an accused to trial.