Tes­ti­mony wraps in St. John’s child sex abuse case

Lawyer for Chris Snow — known as the Christ­mas truck driver — calls no ev­i­dence in his de­fence

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - FRONT PAGE - BY TARA BRAD­BURY

WARN­ING: This ar­ti­cle con­tains graphic lan­guage

Tes­ti­mony in the trial of a St. John’s man ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing five chil­dren in the 1960s and ’70s wrapped up in New­found­land and Labrador Supreme Court Wed­nes­day morn­ing, with the de­fence call­ing no ev­i­dence.

Chris Snow, 68, had in­di­cated to the court through his lawyer Ja­son Ed­wards on Tues­day he wanted to tes­tify, but did not take the stand when his case re­sumed Wed­nes­day. Ed­wards called no other wit­nesses.

Five peo­ple — both women and men — tes­ti­fied on Tues­day that Snow sex­u­ally as­saulted them over a pe­riod of years be­tween 1965 and 1976. A sixth com­plainant had been sched­uled to take the stand but de­clined at the last minute, re­sult­ing in two of Snow’s charges be­ing with­drawn.

Snow — who is known in St. John’s for driv­ing a truck dec­o­rated with boughs and coloured lights and play­ing mu­sic dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son — has pleaded not guilty to 14 charges re­lated to sex­u­ally abus­ing chil­dren, be­gin­ning when he was 18 years old.

The com­plainants gave tes­ti­monies of Snow sneak­ing into their bed­rooms at night and fondling them, some­times leav­ing them money.

The men spoke of Snow forc­ing them to fon­dle him or forc­ing their mouths on his gen­i­tals. One man told the court Snow at­tempted to pen­e­trate him anally on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions, be­gin­ning when he was nine years old. He gave de­tails of three al­leged in­ci­dents in par­tic­u­lar, the most vi­o­lent tak­ing place when he was 13 and Snow was 24, he said.

All the wit­nesses said Snow as­saulted them many times over the years.

“Once a week would be guar­an­teed,” one man said. “Some­times it would be ev­ery sec­ond night.

“It was al­ways the same re­peated in­ci­dent, some more ag­gres­sive than oth­ers.”

In ad­di­tion to the com­plainants de­scrib­ing symp­toms of phys­i­cal and emo­tional trauma, one of them said she had been work­ing with a psy­chi­a­trist in the late 1970s and had blocked out mem­o­ries of her child­hood for a pe­riod of time as a way of deal­ing with what Snow had done to her. Ed­wards ques­tioned her on the ac­cu­racy of her mem­o­ries as a re­sult.

The woman ac­knowl­edged mem­ory is­sues, but was adamant she was re­call­ing the de­tails of the abuse ac­cu­rately, even if she was un­able to pro­vide a bet­ter time­line for them.

“I was a kid,” she said. “You don’t re­mem­ber ev­ery­thing that hap­pened when you were a kid. But I know it hap­pened.”

Another woman said she had mem­ory is­sues be­cause of car ac­ci­dents and surg­eries, and had re­mem­bered many of the as­saults through hav­ing flash­backs. Often times the flash­backs were brought on by see­ing Snow’s truck or other en­coun­ters with him as an adult, she told the court.

“Just to be clear, ev­ery­thing we’re hear­ing to­day (from you) is based on flash­backs?,” Ed­wards asked the woman. “Ab­so­lutely, yes,” she replied. Jus­tice Wil­liam Goodridge asked Ed­wards and Crown pros­e­cu­tor Tan­nis King to pro­vide ex­am­ples of case law in­volv­ing flash­backs and re­cov­ered mem­o­ries flash­backs when they pro­vide their fi­nal sub­mis­sions in the case Fri­day morn­ing.

In an un­re­lated case, Snow’s son, David Snow, is fac­ing charges of sex crimes against chil­dren in re­la­tion to in­ci­dents al­leged to have oc­curred be­tween 2011 and 2015.

The 35-year-old, who is cur­rently in cus­tody, has been charged with two counts of sex­ual as­sault, two counts of sex­ual in­ter­fer­ence, three counts of ex­pos­ing his gen­i­tals to a child un­der 16, and 10 counts of ob­serv­ing a per­son for a sex­ual pur­pose. He’s also charged with mak­ing and pos­sess­ing child pornog­ra­phy. He has not been con­victed and his case is mak­ing its way through the courts.

TARA BRAD­BURY/THE TELEGRAM

Chris Snow, 68, ap­peared in New­found­land and Labrador Supreme Court this week, on trial for charges re­lated to the sex­ual abuse of five chil­dren over a pe­riod of years in the 1960s and 1970s. The case will be back in court Fri­day morn­ing, when lawyers will give their clos­ing sub­mis­sions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.