September 20, 2013 - 2:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops man accused of sexually abusing his step-daughter is free to go after a Kamloops Supreme Court decision today.
The man, whose name cannot be published due to a court ban to protect the identity of the complainant, faced charges of sexual interference of a person under 16, invitation to sexual touching under 14 and sexual assault in a trial that began earlier this week.
The Crown alleged the accused had sex with his step-daughter hundreds of times in the four years he lived with her mother, beginning when the girl was 12 years old.
The accused pleaded not guilty and testified that the accusations were false.
The case lacked physical evidence and while the judge said he didn't know whether he believed the accused, he found him not guilty.
"I do not know where the truth lies," said B.C. Supreme Court judge Ronald McKinnon.
McKinnon was left with doubt over multiple details during the trial.
The girl's mother, who lived in the small house where the offences allegedly took place, did not have any red flags as to the allegations.
While the girl described the man's genitals in court, the judge said he could not use the information because the family was open about walking in and out of the bathroom, talking to the man while he bathed and catching glances in the nude.
"Given the family's unusual penchant for having an open bathroom… it would be difficult," McKinnon said. "I therefore find the accused not guilty on all three counts."
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013