December 15, 2014 - 12:38 PM
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KAMLOOPS – A justice in Kamloops Supreme Court acquitted a Merritt father accused of touching his daughter for a sexual purpose after determining the daughter’s testimony was inconsistent.
Justice Miriam Gropper said while she found the daughter to be “extremely poised and coherent” as she delivered evidence in court, she found it “internally inconsistent” from what she told the police and the court throughout the investigation.
The case came before the courts when the daughter, who cannot be named due to a court-ordered publication ban, told her step-father that her father would touch her sexually over the course of their weekend visits from 2009 to 2012. The step-father told the girl to write about the events, which both referred to as “the secret” in a journal he later turned in to police.
The father, who also cannot be identified, was accused of touching his daughter for a sexual purpose by rubbing her neck, back, chest and legs. Court heard the daughter say the two would exchange open mouthed kisses and on one occasion, touch genitals. She said at the time of the alleged offenses when she was eight years old, she had developed a “crush” on him, but now knows she misunderstood what the term crush meant.
Gropper said the girl was inconsistent in her testimony when she denied portions of her statement to police. At first the daughter said her genitals touching her father’s was an accident, then later said it was intentional. She said her father never talked about their alleged sexual relationship, but then said he told her it was wrong for fathers and daughters to have a relationship like theirs.
In his defence, which Gropper called “straightforward,' the father said he was confused by his daughter’s behaviour. He said she made advances toward him after she saw a sex scene in a movie which led her to ask him if they could have sex. He said he became nervous when she tried to kiss him on the mouth and wrote about having a crush on him in her journal.
In a two-hour interview with police – described as “lengthy” by Gropper - the father said he didn’t understand why his daughter brought the allegations forward and said he did not rub her chest, but did rub her legs and back although not for a sexual purpose. During his interview with police he said it was disturbing when his daughter asked him to kiss her on the mouth. The father said he never touched his daughter’s genitals for an intentional sexual purpose.
“I find that (he) did not touch her body for any sexual purpose,” Gropper said.
Gropper said she did not accept that the two touched genitals and that the daughter misinterpreted the relationship with her father. She said the father was inexperienced at raising a daughter and he should have brought his daughter’s confusion forward to a social worker.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014