June 24, 2013 - 3:22 PM
KAMLOOPS - A 20-year-old Kamloops woman testified today in B.C. Supreme Court that her foster father sexually abused her as a youth for years before he sexually assaulted her friend at a sleepover in 2011.
The accused—a foster parent to the woman between the ages of four and 18—cannot be named to protect the identity of the potential victims. The woman testified that the accused began sexually abused her between the ages of 14 and 15 and it went on for years while her foster mother was out gambling or away on trips.
"He told me that what had been happening was very normal between a man and a woman and he'd thought I was a woman," the woman said.
She said she didn't tell anyone what happened because she didn't want to break up the family or hurt her foster mother.
She said the accused also told her to keep it a secret between the two of them because it would turn her world 'upside down.'
"It's like a scout's honour," she said he told her.
The woman told the court she was also concerned she would be separated from her twin brother who also lived with the family.
"I didn't want to move foster homes," she said.
The abuse was reported after an alleged incident when one of the girl's friends had a sleepover at their home. The two women, both 18 at the time, were hanging out one night in March 2011 when they got 'bored' and met up with a friend to drink beer at a nearby elementary school park. After a few hours of drinking, they returned back to the girl's house and played cards and drank more beer with the accused.
The girl told the court that the accused told them they could take a shower in his bedroom. They showered and laid down on the girl's bed before the accused entered the room and asked if he could watch them kiss each other.
"We thought it was weird and funny," the woman said. "We did… to me it wasn't too weird.... He had sexually abused me before."
She said the man asked if he could 'go down' on her friend and despite the girl 'protesting' she gave in after the woman told her it was 'OK.'
The next morning the two girls discussed the night.
"I felt really, really bad," the woman testified. "I told her it was OK."
She said she wasn't sure why she told her friend it was fine for her foster father to sexually abuse her.
"In a sense, it made me feel better that it happened to someone else as well," she said. "In hopes that it wouldn't happen to me that night."
During the cross-examination, defence lawyer Rob Bruneau accused the woman of lying about the alleged abuse and assault. She admitted to being sexually abused as a child, prior to the alleged crimes involving her foster father, and having had a lot of trouble in school growing up with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder as well as a mood disorder that made her extremely emotional, often overreacting in situations.
Bruneau insisted the woman wanted to move out of the foster home and live with her fiancé at the age of 16 and that she made up the story to get 'independent living' approval from her social worker.
"You actually came up with this version," Bruneau said.
"I disagree," the woman said.
She said she thought moving out of the house would put an end to the abuse but allow her to keep her family.
The Crown is expected to call the woman's friend to the testify next.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013