PICTOU – A 39-year-old Westville man testified Thursday that he did not have sexual relations with the teenage daughter of his ex-girlfriend.
The man, who cannot be named under a publication ban, denied all accusations by the now 15-year-old girl who testified they had a sexual relationship that lasted almost a year.
He is charged with sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference involving alleged incidents that occurred between the summer of 2011 and April 2012.
The accused said during cross-examination by Crown Attorney Patrick Young that the girl, who was 13 at start of the alleged assault, was like a second daughter to him.
He told the court he separated from the girl’s mother in 2009 after their eight-year common-law relationship ended. He said he saw the girl and her brother a few times between 2009 and 2010, but he and the alleged victim had more regular visits in 2011.
During a police interview presented as evidence Tuesday, the victim said she was first kissed by accused in April 2011 when he woke her up after falling asleep on his couch. She told police she was a frequent visitor to the home because she liked spending time with his daughter, who is the around the same age, and considered him to be nice guy.
After the kiss the girl testified that their relationship progressed to sexual intercourse. She told police, they first had sex when she couldn’t sleep and she went into his bedroom. She told police she said “no” to the sexual act and was “mad” at herself afterwards for letting it happen.
Following this alleged incident, the girl told police she would visit the man a few times a week during which time they would have sex. She said she consented to the alleged sexual intercourse after the first time.
In addition to the police interview, the Crown entered three letters into evidence that were written by the man to the alleged victim that state, “I love the way you touch me. I love the way you kiss me.”
The man testified that he was referring to the way they said goodbye each time he dropped her off after visits.
“Every time she left, I would give her a hug and she would kiss me on the cheek,” he said. “She liked it because she didn’t do it a lot with her mom and dad.”
According to the Crown, the victim and accused continued to see other on a regular basis until the girl’s mother found her diary in her bedroom in May 2012 that “went on” about her daughter’s involvement with the accused.
“It had been going on for a while,” the mother said. “I was sick. I was very sick to my stomach.”
The woman said she confronted her daughter about the diary and the girl told her they had been having sex.
“I kept asking how many times,” the mother testified. “When I asked if it happened more than 20 to 30 times, I stopped.”
During closing arguments, defence lawyer Rob Sutherland told Provincial Court Judge Del Atwood that the case comes down to a matter of credibility.
He said the accused answered questions clearly and without hesitation while the victim was vague on important details. Sutherland added that this client strongly denied all of the accusations and had an explanation for the wording in the letters.
However, Young argued that considering the victim’s young age, the traditional test for credibility had to be relaxed and taken into account.
“When pressed about what happened, her answers were clear and unequivocal,” he said.
He said both the alleged victim and the accused spoke of multiple visits and trips as well as gifts.
“It illustrates how much he cared for her,” said Young. “He treated her more like a girlfriend and she saw him more like a boyfriend than a father. The accused insists that nothing happened and she was like a daughter, but his is inconsistent of what a father would be to a daughter. It’s creepy.”
Both sides were return to court Sept. 24 during which time Atwood will render his decision.