June 28, 2013 - 3:40 PM
KAMLOOPS MAN FOUND NOT GUILTY OF SEXUALLY ABUSING FOSTER DAUGHTER AND SEXUALLY ASSAULTING FRIEND
A Kamloops man accused of sexually abusing his foster daughter and sexually assaulting her friend at a sleepover in 2011 was acquitted today of all charges.
"I find I have reasonable doubt," said B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Ker.
A courtroom full of the man's family and friends applauded following Ker's decision, but one of the complainants broke down into tears.
The 63-year-old Kamloops man — whose name, along with the complainants, is protected by court order — was in court this week after being charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of touching a young person for sexual purpose.
The two complainants testified this week with some conflicting details between both their testimonies as well as reports they gave to police in March of 2011, directly after the alleged incident.
The 20-year-old woman, foster daughter to the accused from ages four to 18, took the stand and said the accused had sexually abused her for years leading up to a sexual assault on her friend at their Aberdeen home.
Her friend testified that two sexual assaults took place that night, one similar to one the woman alleged, and another with a 'brandished cucumber.'
The woman, however, failed to report the second alleged assault to police. Defence lawyer Rob Bruneau accused the two women, along with the foster daughter's twin brother who also took the stand, of lying about the entire situation.
He suggested the woman would have done 'anything' to be with her fiancé at the time, corroborating a story with her friend to get out of the foster home.
Little physical evidence in this case left the judge to rely on witness testimony to convict the accused.
However Ker said she could not rely on their evidence for a conviction.
"There are significant inconsistencies," she said.
While Ker dismissed much of the Crown witness testimony as evidence, there was one piece of evidence she did accept — the accused's sexual dysfunction.
The man testified he had health problems that prevented him from obtaining an erection, making the allegation implausible.
Not only could his wife attest to the accused's sexual health problems — as she did when she took the stand as a defence witness — but a physician's note also corroborated the claim.
The accused was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has had sexual impotency problems from as early as 2006.
"It raises a reasonable doubt in my mind," Ker said.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013