Woman says she was ‘cow­ardly’ in child sex case

Crown says tes­ti­mony is an at­tempt to min­i­mize her be­hav­iour

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NI­COLE O’REILLY

A Kitch­ener woman who has ad­mit­ted to tak­ing part in the sex­ual as­sault of a seven-year-old Hamil­ton girl told court she didn’t take plea­sure in her par­tic­i­pa­tion and was only fol­low­ing or­ders as a paid sex worker.

How­ever, as­sis­tant Crown at­tor­ney Janet Booy called the tes­ti­mony “com­pletely un­be­liev­able” and an at­tempt at “min­i­miz­ing her be­hav­iour.”

In June, 49-year-old Sonya Lu­cas pleaded guilty to sex­ual in­ter­fer­ence, mak­ing child pornog­ra­phy and pos­ses­sion of child pornog­ra­phy. She ad­mit­ted to trav­el­ling to the girl’s Hamil­ton home in the mid­dle of the night April 27, 2016, with a man she knew as Mike McPhee. Lu­cas said she met this man on Craigslist and he typ­i­cally paid her $140 a visit to act out “daddy/daugh­ter role play­ing.” She was of­fered $100 for the night of the abuse.

McPhee’s real name is Rui DaSilva and he was re­spond­ing to a Craigslist ad­ver­tise­ment al­legedly posted by the girl’s mother’s then boyfriend, who is ac­cused of re­peat­edly abus­ing the girl. He can­not be named be­cause of a pub­li­ca­tion ban pro­tect­ing the girl’s iden­tity, but he faces 40 crim­i­nal charges. DaSilva pre­vi­ously pleaded guilty and was sen­tenced to eight years.

“I was scared and cow­ardly,” Lu­cas tes­ti­fied on Tues­day upon be­ing ques­tioned why she didn’t at the very least re­port the abuse later to pre­vent the girl from be­ing vic­tim­ized again.

“You knew she was liv­ing in that hor­rid sit­u­a­tion,” Booy said, later adding “you took ab­so­lutely zero steps to help that lit­tle girl.”

Tues­day’s court ap­pear­ance was for a Gar­diner hear­ing, which is held to iron out dis­puted de­tails in the agreed state­ment of facts.

Lu­cas said she didn’t re­al­ize the vic­tim was a child un­til she was called over to record the abuse on a cell­phone cam­era and then par­tic­i­pate.

“I feel ter­ri­ble about that night ... it was the worst mis­take of my life,” she said.

How­ever, Booy was adamant Lu­cas would have known the vic­tim was a child from the mo­ment the mom’s boyfriend car­ried the girl over his shoul­der into the room and laid her on the floor.

Booy also sug­gested Lu­cas was a will­ing par­tic­i­pant.

Lu­cas was al­ready a con­victed sex of­fender for a case in­volv­ing mi­nors, and po­lice found dolls with anatom­i­cally cor­rect gen­i­tals and child pornog­ra­phy in her apart­ment.

How­ever, Lu­cas said the child porn be­longed to men.

The young vic­tim’s aunt was again in court, as she is for ev­ery hear­ing in this case, to ad­vo­cate for her niece. So too were a num­ber of sup­port­ers from the Toronto Chap­ter of Guardians of the Chil­dren – a biker group ded­i­cated to fight­ing child abuse.

The case re­sumes in court Dec. 11 for a sen­tenc­ing hear­ing.

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