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Barriere man charged with sexually assaulting elderly woman found not guilty

June 26, 2017 - 12:38 PM

KAMLOOPS - A Barriere man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her 90s has been found not guilty.

Brian Byung Koo Lee, 61, appeared in Kamloops Provincial Court today, June 26, to hear Judge Christopher Cleaveley's reasons for his decision.

Lee went to trial for one charge of sexual assault earlier this year, when the elderly woman and her family members testified about the alleged incident.

Crown prosecutor Frank Caputo told the court during trial that Lee allegedly groped and kissed the senior without her consent in her Barriere home in August, 2016.

The woman's name and exact age would identify her in the small town and cannot be published due to a court-ordered publication ban. Cleaveley told the court today that he accepted both the woman and Lee's evidence during trial.

The law states that in a situation where a judge cannot decide who to believe after carefully considering the evidence, the accused must be acquitted.

Cleaveley called Lee a "very credible and straight forward witness" but also said he had "no reason to doubt the version of events given by (the woman)."

Cleaveley said he did not accept the evidence of the woman's son or his wife and said they were prone to being overdramatic when testifying. He also pointed out inconsistences between their testimony during trial and their statements given to police in September 2016.

"Both... make a concerted effort to point the finger at Mr. Lee," Cleaveley said.

The elderly woman's daughter-in-law stood up at the end of Cleaveley's decision and asked to have a word, but he denied her.

At the time of the alleged incident, Lee and his wife were new to Barriere and had recently met the woman and her son. They became acquainted and went to dinner with the family. 

Crown argued during trial that Lee showed up to the woman's home unannounced in August and she let him in. They went to her living room and Lee was alleged to have kissed the woman, touched her chest area and put his hand in her underwear without her consent.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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