Struggling to keep her emotions in check, a woman told Thomas Svekla’s trial yesterday of a sex attack she was only able to escape by acting like she was dead.

The woman, whose name cannot be published because of a publication ban, says she met Svekla on Aug. 4, 2005, at a High Level basement suite where she was drinking beers with the accused on a couch.

“He kept on sitting next to me and I knew there was something wrong,” said the woman who spoke quietly in court with sometimes a crack being heard in her voice.


The woman said she tried to leave the suite before Svekla attacked her from behind, placing his left hand on her throat and right hand over her mouth.

“He had me down and he was trying to kiss me,” said the woman. “I was fighting and fighting him. He was trying to take off my pants, but I was fighting him more and more.”

The woman told court she then “played dead” to trick the accused. When Svekla went into the kitchen, the woman said she fled and the accused quickly chased her.

The woman said some kids gave her 35 cents to call a cab near a convenience store after the attack that left her with several bruises to her face, chest and back. Svekla was charged in the incident. The matter is still before the courts.

Svekla is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Rachel Quinney, 19, and Theresa Innes, 36.

Quinney’s mutilated body was found naked in a field east of Edmonton in June 2004.

Innes’s body was found in a hockey bag that was owned by Svekla in May 2006. The Crown is alleging Innes was killed in High Level before her body was taken to Fort Saskatchewan, to a home that belonged to Svekla’s sister.

Yesterday marked the 10th week of the Svekla trial, expected to wrap up in June. The Crown says it plans to complete its case May 8.

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