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Ottawa drug dealer accused of drugging, raping 15 women — and videotaping them as he did it

Phil Wilson faces 45 criminal charges, including sexual assault, aggravated assault and administering a noxious drug. Most of his alleged victims were unconscious and have no memory of the sex attacks.

In a horrifying case that has shaken bar staff in the ByWard Market, an Ottawa drug dealer is on trial for the drugging and raping of 15 women who were videotaped and photographed as they were exploited.

The accused serial rapist — Phillip Wilson, 33,— is on trial for 45 criminal charges, including sexual assault, aggravated assault and administering a noxious drug. Most of his alleged victims were unconscious and have no memory of the sex attacks.

Wilson is alleged to have preyed on bar staff, usually when they showed up to his apartment after their shifts to buy drugs, according to the Crown theory. He slipped GHB in their drinks, rendering them incapacitated, court heard.

The accused rapist’s onetime girlfriend assisted him, then later curved the truth in police interviews, according to the Crown. The girlfriend’s credibility is a key issue at trial for both Assistant Crown Attorney Meaghan Cunningham and defence lawyer Trevor Brown.

Ottawa courthouse on Elgin Street.

In court filings, the Crown says the witness was in the grip of Wilson, who “abused her physically, sexually and psychologically. … (her) evidence cannot be properly assessed without understanding the dynamics at play in the abusive relationship between her and Mr. Wilson.”

The girlfriend is not just a key witness, but the reason the Ottawa police cracked the case.

On March 11, 2015, around 2:30 a.m., a neighbour called 911 to report a domestic dispute in the apartment above hers on Nelson Street.

Wilson’s pregnant girlfriend was found bloodied, bruised and unconscious. She was hospitalized for several injuries, including a fractured vertebra. She lost the baby the next day.

Wilson was arrested on scene and Ottawa police found large quantities of drugs in his apartment — including cocaine, GHB and ketamine.

In an authorized search of Wilson’s apartment, police also seized his electronic devices and found sexually explicit photos and videos of his alleged victims.

The bar-staff drug rapes are alleged to have happened in 2014 and 2015, with many complainants reporting that they took sips from a drink at Wilson’s apartment then blacked out.

One complainant took the stand Tuesday, saying she had gone to Wilson’s to buy cocaine. She did a line with Wilson and when she asked for a drink, he gave her one laced with GHB, court heard.

She took one sip. It tasted salty, she said.

“I remember saying I feel really heavy, and that was it,” she testified Tuesday.

She woke up the next morning, naked on Wilson’s kitchen floor.

Wilson’s girlfriend handed her her freshly washed-and-dried jean shorts, she told court.

She later got a text with a picture that showed her passed out and half-naked. A friend of hers told her to go to the police, but she said she didn’t want to “create a kerfuffle” and wanted to instead put it out of her mind, and “forget about it.” So much so that she deleted the photograph. She also told court that she felt alone and didn’t know there were other alleged victims.

Other alleged victims, also unconscious, were videotaped and photographed with the accused performing sexual acts on them, according to court filings.

Wilson is in custody and has pleaded not guilty to the slew of charges. The trial, with Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland presiding, continues Wednesday when more complainants are expected to testify at the Elgin Street courthouse.