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Man charged with sexually assaulting teenage family member

A mother testifying in provincial court Monday morning was able to tell the judge the moment — down to the exact minute — that her teenage daughter told her that she had been sexually assaulted by a 30-year-old man.

“May 28, 2015, 8:34 p.m.,” the mother spoke quietly but surely into the microphone. “(She) came downstairs and told me everything in a short period of time. I thought I was going to throw up.”

The mother was testifying at the trial of the man, now 36, who has been charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference and two counts of invitation to sexual touching in connection with two separate incidents that occurred over Christmas in 2011.

The man and the 15-year-old girl, who is now 21, were family members, but not blood-related. He had come to stay with her family for a couple of nights over the holidays, when he is alleged to have had intercourse with the teenager in her basement bedroom.

The girl’s mother told the court there was a house full of people at the time, and she didn’t know anything had happened until four years later, when her daughter told her.

The young woman also testified, telling the court she first started talking with the man via text messages, which were “flirty” and then escalated. That Christmas Eve, she was in bed when he came in her room, she said, and the pair had oral, vaginal and anal intercourse.

“Were you a willing participant?” Crown prosecutor Mike Murray asked her.

“Yes, I was,” the woman testified.

By law, a 15-year-old is unable to give sexual consent.

The next night, a similar but unexpected incident happened, the woman said, telling the court the man did not use a condom. She said she had not ever had a sexual encounter at that point in her life.

When asked by Murray if the man had ever asked her about her age, the woman said no; he did ask her to keep quiet, she testified, both while he was in her room and about the incidents in general.

“He said if (a family member) ever finds out, it’s going to be an issue,” she told the court.

Murray submitted a number of photos to the court, including family pictures taken during the Christmas of 2011, and a photo of the young woman’s school ID card from that time.

The man left the home on Boxing Day and the young woman testified she never saw him in person after that, though they remained in contact via text messages and had plans to meet again. A few months later, she told a family member — the man’s brother — who called the man, angry.

“I could overhear the conversation. He told (the accused) that he had two choices, he could call the police or keep it to himself, and that (the accused) could get 10 years in jail,” she said. “Basically, he told (the accused) he was dead to him, and if he ever saw him on the street he should turn away.”

After that phone call, the young woman said, she had no more contact with the man, and police weren’t called until after she told her mother four years later.

The mother told the court she didn’t recall the man ever asking about her daughter’s age, but he had asked what grade she was in at school and whether or not she was involved in sports. The mother said she never saw the man after that Christmas, until his trial started.

The man stared straight ahead for most of his trial Monday, showing no emotion as the young woman and her mother testified individually. 

His trial continues today.

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

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