Stories about alleged assaults caused man to threaten suicide
A man accused of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter threatened to kill himself if she continued telling stories about him, court heard on Wednesday.
The 39-year-old man is on trial before Justice Keith Yamauchi in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench for a series of charges going back to 2002, when his stepdaughter was still a toddler.
Testimony from the alleged victim, her mother and an Innisfail RCMP officer has focused on incidents alleged to have occurred more recently, including an incident at a family camping trip in July 2011 and a second set of incidents at the family home at about midnight on Aug. 24, 2011, and at about 7 a.m. on the following day.
The man’s name is withheld to protect the identity of his alleged victim, who is now 15 years old.
Questioned on Wednesday morning by Crown prosecutor Robin Snider, the mother told court that her daughter complained in 2002 about her stepfather touching her private parts.
Police were called to investigate but found no evidence to back up the complaint.
It was felt at the time that she was repeating stories she had heard from other children, said the mother.
She also described an incident about a year before the 2011 allegations, saying her daughter wrote a letter describing something she said her stepfather had done to her.
“She said something had happened, but wouldn’t tell me what. All she would do was write it down,” the mother testified.
She said her husband called the girl aside to talk after being shown the letter.
“(He told her) this kind of story could get me in a lot of trouble and I would have to kill myself,” she said.
“(My daughter) apologized and went to bed. He took the letter outside and burned it.”
The issue was set aside until the morning of Aug. 25, 2011, when, confronted by her mother, the girl said her stepfather had climbed into bed and started fondling her the night before and again in the morning, while her little sister slept in the same room.
The mother said her husband was staying up overnight because he was switching shifts and needed to sleep during the day.
The mother had gone to bed by 10 p.m. because she was due at work at 6:30 the next morning, but was awakened later by the dog, which was supposed to be locked up in the girls’ room.
She testified that she was putting the dog back in its kennel when she found her husband behind the bedroom door, standing on the older girl’s mattress.
He told his wife that he was looking for the dog.
The woman told court she has not spoken with her husband since those incidents and that they are now in the process of getting a divorce and splitting up their property.
Originally scheduled for completion on Friday, an adjournment is anticipated to accommodate testimony from an expert. Additional dates for completion of the trial are to be set this week.