The Conception Bay South tattoo artist who left Facebook and phone messages for a man he said he believed raped a friend has been found guilty of criminal harassment.
Ken Joseph Power, 45, was convicted this morning (Wednesday) in provincial court in St. John's.
"And the rapist wins," Power turned and said to a friend in the courtroom shortly after Judge Mike Madden rendered the verdict.
Power admitted that between Feb. 9 and March 24, 2017, he wrote posts on the man’s employer’s Facebook page and voicemail, claiming the man violently raped a female friend.
“Condom or no condom, buddy! Yeah, I know what you did,” was Power’s first post on the company’s page on Feb. 9.
About half an hour later, the man sent Power a personal message on Facebook messenger, saying, “I’m not sure who you are but I think you have me confused with someone.”
Power replied, “I think you’re confused if you think I’m going to (let) you away with what you did.”
The man told Power he had no idea what he was talking about.
Power then asked him if he lived on a certain street and named the street.
“What?” the man replied. “Look man, you’ve clearly got the wrong guy whatever you’re thinking.”
Power then said, “Sleep tight.”
When the man hired a lawyer and a letter was sent to Power to inform him that legal action would be taken if he didn't stop, Power replied, "Only the guilty lawyer up. .. See you soon."
During the trial last month, the complainant testified that after the messages were sent, he lived in fear. He said he had to move out of his house, changed his parking spot at work and he slept with a knife.
In rendering the verdict, Madden said there was no doubt the messages were meant to cause the complainant alarm.
"(Power) wanted (the complainant) to know he knew where he works, where he lives and what he (said he) did and that he was not going to let him away with it," Madden said.
Madden said Power also intended to harm the man's reputation in his workplace.
Regarding the "see you soon" comment, Madden said, "In light of earlier comments, any reasonable person's reaction ... would be to anticipate a visit from (Power)."
Madden said Power's actions were disturbing and broke the law.
"He was avenging his friend by destroying (the man's) peace of mind and ruining his reputation," Madden said.
"He was taking the law into his own hands. It's vigilante justice."
Lawyers agreed to schedule the sentencing hearing for Jan. 30.
When approached by reporters for a comment, Power first met with his lawyer and emerged with a prepared statement, which he read aloud.
"With regards to the harassment charge, I take responsibility for (my) action(s). I admit to what I sent. I believe and still believe my friend, who was an acquaintance of the complainant," Power said.
"The pictures, documents and other information supported my friend's assertion of having been raped and assaulted. Despite numerous requests from myself and others for her to go to police, like many victimized women, she would not. I believed, and still believe, her.
"I acted on this because of her. My choice of actions may not have been the best in hindsight and I, my family, my friends, (especially) the one I was standing up for, must live with this decision and its consequences."