PENTICTON - An emotionally-charged courtroom heard a Penticton Supreme Court judge today declare Tyrone J. Borba guilty of three sex offences involving a child.
Justice Catherine Bruce gave a lengthy summary of numerous instances of sexual offences after Borba established a close relationship with the boy in Oliver in 2011 and 2012, before finding him guilty.
She said defence counsel failed to raise a reasonable doubt, noting that inconsistencies in the boy’s testimony was not a reason to dismiss all the evidence.
“I don’t believe Borba’s testimony,” she said. She said during the trial, Borba minimized the relationship between himself and the boy, denied being close yet showed a "pathological desire to be close."
“The number of weekend visits belies anything but a very close relationship,” she said. Bruce also noted the “great lengths” to which Borba went to secure time alone with the victim, adding he “inserted himself into the victim’s school and play time.”
Borba, a former candidate for Oliver town council, bought the boy numerous gifts including a cell phone, which Borba repeatedly used to text the boy, often late at night. Bruce pointed to Borba’s desire to constantly spend time with the victim as evidence of a “highly suspicious relationship” and found it was "grooming by a sexual predator."
"The gifts, treats, hours spent together and significant age difference is overwhelming evidence," she said.
Borba stayed ramrod straight throughout the session, never once looking behind him as many friends and supporters of the victim made up the gallery. Upon hearing the judge’s decision, many wept openly with relief.
Following the verdict, friends of the victim’s family expressed their relief at the decision.
“I’m still in shock,” said one friend from Penticton. “He’s getting what he deserves. It was a long battle. I’m speechless.”
He said he was proud of the victim, calling him "an inspiration to all kids out there.”
Borba was convicted of sexual assault, sexual touching of person under age 16 and and invitation to sexual touching of a person under age 16.
Bruce ordered a pre-sentence report and psychiatric review. Crown prosecutor Catherine Crockett failed in her bid to get Borba’s bail revoked, but got several more conditions and restrictions added. Borba will have to regularly report to authorities, have no contact or communication with the victim, in addition to not being allowed to be within 50 metres of a school or residence where the victim is present. He is also forbidden to attend public facilities where minors under 16 may be present.
The case adjourned until Feb. 2, 2015, for sentencing. Crockett said she would recommend a federal sentence, meaning at least two years in prison.
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