Man ac­cused of sex of­fences awaits ver­dict

Leo Arnold Dowl­ing fac­ing mul­ti­ple al­le­ga­tions dat­ing back more than 20 years

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ISLAND - BY RYAN ROSS Ryan.ross@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/ryan­r­ross

A 62-year-old man fac­ing 17 charges re­lated to al­leged sex of­fences will hear his fate next month in P.E.I. Supreme Court.

Leo Arnold Dowl­ing ap­peared be­fore Jus­tice Nancy Key in Char­lot­te­town Fri­day where lawyers on both sides made their fi­nal sub­mis­sions in the trial in­volv­ing mul­ti­ple com­plainants and al­le­ga­tions dat­ing back more than 20 years.

Dur­ing her sub­mis­sions, Crown at­tor­ney Va­lerie Moore said the com­plainants’ ev­i­dence was com­pelling, de­tailed and con­sis­tent.

None of the ev­i­dence in the case raises rea­son­able doubt, she said.

Dowl­ing is charged with of­fences that in­clude al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual in­ter­fer­ence, in­de­cent as­sault, sex­ual as­sault and in­vi­ta­tion to sex­ual touch­ing.

Dur­ing the trial, the court heard tes­ti­mony about Dowl­ing that in­cluded al­le­ga­tions of him putting his hand in­side a com­plainant’s shirt to touch her chest, swing­ing one of them around while he touched her chest and touch­ing a vic­tim’s vagina through her cloth­ing.

He de­nied the al­le­ga­tions. Through­out most of Fri­day’s pro­ceed­ings, which lasted sev­eral hours, Dowl­ing showed no re­ac­tion to the sub­mis­sions as he sat at the de­fence ta­ble look­ing straight ahead with his hands clasped in front of him.

Moore told the court the events the com­plainants de­scribed were re­cur­ring and weren’t iso­lated in­ci­dents.

There were things that stood out to the vic­tims, and they didn’t give vague de­scrip­tions dur­ing their tes­ti­mony, Moore said.

“They had me­mories of the abuse, the mo­lesta­tions be­ing linked to par­tic­u­lar things in their lives.”

Moore said there was no foren­sic ev­i­dence and the only wit­nesses to the al­leged of­fences were the vic­tims, but that is the norm rather than the ex­cep­tion in that kind of case.

As she fin­ished her sub­mis­sions, Moore said that when look­ing at the to­tal­ity of the ev­i­dence, Dowl­ing’s de­nials were im­plau­si­ble.

De­fence lawyer Scott Barry said in his sub­mis­sions that the ev­i­dence of each com­plainant needs to be able to stand on its own when it comes to the bur­den of proof.

In crim­i­nal cases, the Crown must prove the of­fence beyond a rea­son­able doubt.

Barry said the Crown failed to do so.

The ev­i­dence in the case in­volved events al­leged to have hap­pened more than 20 years ago, and Barry said there was bound to be un­cer­tainty in some wit­ness rec­ol­lec­tions.

Dowl­ing will be back in court Dec. 20 to hear Key’s de­ci­sion.

A pub­li­ca­tion ban pre­vents the re­lease of any de­tails that could iden­tify the vic­tims.

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