October 31st, 2020

Father denies allegations at incest trial


By Lethbridge Herald on January 21, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

Lethbridge Herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

After hearing for the entire past week, often in graphic detail, accusations against a Raymond man charged with sexually assaulting his daughter, the incest case is expected to be in the hands of a jury later today.

Last week’s trial was all about the Crown’s case, during which the now 15-year-old complainant testified her father inappropriately touched her — and had her touch him — on numerous occasions, and had intercourse with her, as well.

The accused is charged with incest, sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.

Monday in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench defence lawyer Wade Hlady opened and closed his case all before lunch, and simply told the jury during his opening remarks that the accused would be his only witness and would “be denying all the allegations before the court.”

And that’s just what he did.

The accused, who can’t be named under a court-ordered publication ban to protect the identity of his daughter, simply answered “no” to most of his lawyer’s questions and questions from the Crown when asked about alleged sexual liaisons between himself and his daughter.

He denied touching her for the first time when she was only nine years old while she sat on his lap to drive his truck, and he denied bribing her many times later for sexual favours. He said he didn’t tell his daughter she would never see him again if she told anyone about the assaults; never told her that such interactions between a father and daughter were normal; and never said her mother and brother were doing the same thing.

He admitted his daughter sat on his lap while they drove, and he often bribed all his children with treats, such as ice cream or a meal at Subway, if they did their chores. He said he used a massager to massage his daughter’s back, taught her how to shave her legs, wrestled with her and slept with her in her bed or when they went camping. But none of the activities involved anything sexual, he said.

During her testimony last week, however, the girl told court she was sexually assaulted by her father until she was 13 years old, and the assaults only ended after he moved out of the house in January 2018.

The girl described numerous encounters in various locations, including in the house and while on camping trips. When she complained he was hurting her, he wouldn’t stop or he would get upset at her. Once he even hit her when she told him to stop.

The accused admitted he hit her on the leg, but it was part of a game. And he said if he ever touched her inappropriately it was by accident while they played.

“Could have been accidental,” he said. “We were wrestling.”

Crown prosecutor Michael Fox accused the 54-year-old man of “sexualizing” his daughter after he and his wife were no longer intimate. Fox suggested the assaults “expanded” after the girl didn’t tell anyone what her father had done on the first encounter in the truck, and that everything the girl described in court was accurate.

“You were using (her) for your own sexual gratification weren’t you?” Fox asked.

“No,” the accused responded.

The Crown and defence are expected to present their closing arguments today, followed by Justice Patrick Sullivan’s charge to the jury. The jury will then be sequestered until they arrive at a verdict.

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