A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder. LARS HAGBERG / THE CANADIAN PRESS, FILE

Dozens of uniformed soldiers packed a sweltering, makeshift courtroom at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton to hear testimony Thursday from a military doctor accused of sexually assaulting a colleague.

Capt. Steven Nordstrom, 33, told a military court martial he believed the sexual encounter he had with the female colleague during a training course in 2015 was entirely consensual.

He disputed claims made by the complainant — identified only as J.L. under a court-ordered publication ban — including that he repeatedly grabbed her buttocks and genitals during an after-hours social event at a Toronto pub.

“Absolutely not true; that’s not something I’d ever do,” he said.

Nordstrom faces once charge of sexual assault and one of assault stemming from the incidents, which allegedly occurred in the Toronto area on Feb. 20, 2015, and March 14, 2015.

Nordstrom started as a member of the Canadian Forces in medical school 17 years ago and was posted to CFB Shilo in Manitoba in July 2013. He works at a local clinic there and is a member of 1 Field Ambulance.

In 2015, he was selected to attend a multi-week operational flight surgeon training course split between Toronto, CFB Trenton and CFB Cold Lake.

During the course, he met J.L., with whom he developed a friendly relationship. They discussed their children, swapped texts and traded jokes about an eccentric instructor. During a flight between Edmonton and Toronto during the course, he testified J.L. fell asleep on his shoulder.

J.L., who has since left the military, alleges Nordstrom sexually assaulted her during an evening social event that began with a scotch tasting at a Toronto pub. J.L. told court earlier this week that Nordstrom repeatedly touched her inappropriately, including putting his hands up her skirt.

The two later went to the Brass Rail strip club, and then back to her hotel room where J.L. alleged he undressed her, then forced himself on her, placing an arm around her neck.

J.L. fought back tears when she told court Monday that she feared for her life.

Nordstrom told a different story, saying the two had made out throughout the evening and that she led him to the hotel room, where he performed oral sex on her. They stopped short of intercourse when J.L. became upset, saying she was married. Nordstrom said he then got dressed and the two parted on “friendly” terms.

Maj. Chavi Walsh, one of the prosecutors, sought the court’s permission to examine an earlier family court proceeding in which Nordstrom addressed the charges before the court martial.

Walsh told the court that an affidavit Nordstrom gave in that case did not match up with testimony he gave in the court martial.

The court also reviewed text messages sent between the two during the course.

“Credibility is a central issue in this case,” Walsh told military judge Cmdr. Martin Pelletier.

Walsh added that Nordstrom earlier broke the conditions of his release by consuming alcohol at a going-away party for a friend.

The proceedings began Monday and were expected to run for five days.

Military courts operate separately from civilian courts. Military judges preside over courts martial, which are designed to deal with serious offences by service members. Courts martial have the same rights, powers and privileges as superior courts.

The Canadian Forces launched Operation Honour in August 2015 to eliminate sexual assault and misconduct in the military.

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