July 04, 2013 - 6:00 AM
ACCUSED ADMITS HE HAD SEX WITH THE BABYSITTER, BUT SAYS SHE WAS OF AGE AND THE ONE TO INITIATE IT
VERNON - A sexual assault case involving a minor is largely coming down to the victim's word against the accused's.
Final submissions were given Wednesday in the trial of Corey W. Krause, who stands accused of sexual assault and sexual interference of a person under 14—the family's babysitter and daughter of one of his friends.
Krause doesn't deny he slept with her, but says it was consensual and sometime after her 14th birthday. His defense lawyer, Juan O'Quinn, told jurors the first sexual encounter couldn't have happened when the victim said it did, because at that time, there was no house for it to take place in. The victim testified the first encounter, which involved sexual touching, occurred at her house in 2004, but O'Quinn said her home wasn't built for another couple of years.
"It (sexual act) couldn't have happened until that house was built in 2006 when she was clearly the age of 14 years or older," O'Quinn said. "A time when she was of age to consent to the activity."
The girl said there were some 20 sexual acts, but could only remember two in detail. The first, at her home, and another which occurred at Krause's house. She said it was the first time she had ever had sexual intercourse, and it hurt, which is why she remembers it still.
O'Quinn questioned why the girl could only remember those two events, and said her account of what happened had changed over time.
"The accounts differ continuously, over and over," O'Quinn said of the girl's testimony, adding someone at that "impressionable age" surely would remember more.
He said she could have refused Krause, stopped seeing him, or told someone. But she didn't, because she was "infatuated" with him, O'Quinn said.
"She had a crush on him," O'Quinn said, reminding jurors that Krause testified she was the one who initiated the sexual relationship.
"It's trite for me to say he exercised poor judgement engaging in what qualifies as a sexual relationship with his friend's daughter," O'Quinn said. "He said himself it was the wrong thing to do."
Ever since the girl spoke up in 2009, Krause's family life has been torn apart, O'Quinn said. In his wrap up, O'Quinn told the jury it's not their job to judge Krauses's morals.
"It's to determine if what he did was criminal or not," he said.
Crown lawyer Chris Balison said it was the other way around, that Krause was the one who wasn't a credible witness, not the girl.
"The sex, I say, happened between a grown man and a young girl," Balison said.
He said there was "compelling" evidence to say the sexual acts did happen in 2004. But even if the jury found the victim had been of age, there still wasn't consent, Balison said. He said it wasn't surprising that she waited so long to tell her parents about what happened.
"She's a young teenager, she's scared," Balison said, adding the girl kept quiet to protect her relationship with Krause's wife and the child she babysat.
He asked the jury to recall the emotion in the now 20-something woman's voice as she described the assaults. In a trial that's come down to "his word against hers," Balison said Krause's evidence should be rejected.
"Last week I watched him look up at the ceiling and think of how best to answer the question," Balison said, noting that by comparison, the victim was "candid" and honest when she couldn't remember exact timelines. She was a kid when it happened, and has spent many years trying to block out the memories, Balison said.
Judge Geoff Barrow will give a few words Thursday morning before the jury begins deliberating.
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