June 28, 2013 - 6:53 AM
VERNON - A woman waited over five years to tell her parents, and the police, that she was sexually assaulted by the man she babysat for. Learning he had his sights set on her younger sister finally tipped the scale, she told a Vernon Supreme Court jury.
Corey W. Krause pleaded not guilty Monday to sexually assaulting the woman, who was under 14-years-old when the alleged sexual relationship began. The woman, whose name cannot be revealed due to a publication ban, is now in her 20s.
She said the Krauses were family friends, and she babysat their newborn from time to time. Without her consent, without asking her at all, Krause began touching her, eventually having intercourse with her, the complainant testified Thursday. She said the sexual activities happened "every once in a while" but could only remember two acts in close detail.
"The first time I was in shock, I didn't know what was happening," she said. "The (other) time, it was the pain."
She was at the house babysitting when Krause took her to his bedroom, relocated his daughter downstairs, and began to undress the alleged victim.
Crown lawyer Chris Balison asked the victim if she resisted, or asked him to stop.
"I was scared," she said. "I didn't want to make him angry."
When it was over, she said Krause walked away without a word, then drove her home.
"He always told me I could never tell anyone," she said. "He said if anyone found out, my parents would disown me...."
Things changed when she got older and her little sister took over babysitting for Krause, she said.
"I thought she should know because she was spending time there... I wanted her to be aware."
Her sister was shocked, but continued babysitting for Krause, she said. The secret stayed between the sisters. Around 14 or 15, the complainant said she began dating someone, and drifted away from her family.
"I stopped going home as often, started getting in trouble at school, I didn't have a good relationship with my mom at that time," she said.
Sometime before the complainant started dating her boyfriend, the sexual relationship with Krause stopped, she said. For a few years, she didn't talk about what happened with anybody. Then, when she was about 19, she found out Krause sent her sister an inappropriate text message.
"He asked her if she'd bought any new bras or underwear," she said. "I said he shouldn't be asking those types of things to my sister."
Finally, she confessed the relationship to her mother, who suggested counseling for her daughter but took no further action. The complainant's father didn't find out until one night when they were all supposed to go for dinner with the Krauses. The complainant's mother didn't want to go.
"He ended up guessing," the complainant said.
She was scared her dad might confront Krause, so she grabbed the keys to the car and bolted.
"I ran down the street and sat on the snowbank in the dark," she said. "I never wanted my dad to know."
Later, her father told her it was okay, that "it wasn't her fault." He thought it would bring some closure to report the incident to the police. That was in the spring of 2011, she said.
Defense lawyer Juan O'Quinn started his cross examination trying to establish a timeline of events. He wanted hard dates, not "a few months" or "after awhile." In her statement to police, the complainant had estimated the number of assaults at 15-20 times. O'Quinn wanted to know why her memory was vague on all but two of these. When he asked her why she couldn't pinpoint months and years exactly, she replied that she'd been trying to forget what had happened for a very long time.
"You're confused about a lot of this," O'Quinn said.
He highlighted the fact that in three separate instances—at the police station, at the preliminary inquiry, and at the trial—she described wearing a different outfit when Krause first assaulted her. At different times she reported wearing pajama pants, sweatpants and shorts—all with a baggy T-shirt. O'Quinn asked why the descriptions weren't consistent.
The complainant said she was very young—just 11 or 12—when the assaults took place, and that all she wanted to do was push the memories away.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230, or tweet @charhelston
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013