October 19th, 2020

Man found guilty on all charges


By Lethbridge Herald on January 23, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

Lethbridge Herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 54-year-old Raymond man whose incest trial concluded earlier this week, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting his young daughter.

After about five hours of deliberation, the jury of seven women and five men found the accused guilty Wednesday of all four charges for which he was on trial; incest, sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.

The man, who can’t be named to protect the identity of the girl, was remanded following the verdict and is scheduled for a sentencing hearing April 24.

Lethbridge lawyer Wade Hlady asked that his client be allowed to remain out on bail on compassionate grounds because his mother is having surgery, but the judge refused. The judge did grant a request, however, for a pre-sentence report that will help determine a fit sentence.

The offender merely glanced at members of his own family and gave them a thumbs up as court sheriffs led him from the courtroom.

During the trial in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench, the girl told court her father sexually assaulted her for more than four years beginning when she was only nine years old. She testified her father inappropriately touched her — and had her touch him — on numerous occasions, and had intercourse with her, as well. The assaults ended after her father moved out of the home early in 2018.

The accused testified in his own defence Monday but simply denied all the allegations against him. He admitted his daughter occasionally sat on his lap while they drove his truck, and he used a massager to massage her back, taught her how to shave her legs, wrestled with her and sometimes slept with her in her bed or when they went camping. But none of the activities involved anything sexual, he said.

During closing arguments Tuesday, Lethbridge lawyer Wade Hlady told the jury not to believe the girl’s testimony and said she often couldn’t provide specific details or elaborate on many of the alleged sexual encounters between herself and her father. He suggested some of the assaults would have simply been impossible to commit.

Hlady also suggested the girl may have an overactive imagination and actually believe she’s telling the truth, even though her evidence is “not believable.”

However, Crown prosecutor Michael Fox said there was no evidence to indicate the girl was lying, and noted that she couldn’t be expected to remember everything about the assaults when she was younger, yet she still provided details about many of the encounters.

Fox told jury members the young and sexually inexperienced girl could not have described some of the acts in detail unless they had actually happened to her.

The Crown believes the assaults began with inappropriate touching while the girl sat on her father’s lap to drive his truck, and they increased in frequency and severity after she didn’t tell anyone.

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