‘Rea­son­able doubt’

P.E.I. man found not guilty of rap­ing daugh­ter

Journal Pioneer - - ISLAND NEWS - BY JIM DAY

An Is­land man was found not guilty Thurs­day in P.E.I. Supreme Court on sev­eral al­leged sex­ual crimes against his daugh­ter. Jus­tice Wayne Chev­erie ruled the Crown “failed to prove its case be­yond a rea­son­able doubt’’ and noted he was also “un­able to re­solve the con­flicts’’ that arose in tes­ti­mony dur­ing the trial. Chev­erie found the man not guilty on all four counts that arose from al­le­ga­tions of touch­ing his daugh­ter for a sex­ual pur­pose and having sex­ual in­ter­course with his daugh­ter. The judge also found the man not guilty of a sex­ual as­sault charge aris­ing from an in­ci­dent with his step­daugh­ter. The man can­not be named be­cause of a court-or­dered pub­li­ca­tion ban pro­tect­ing the iden­ti­ties of the al­leged vic­tims. Chev­erie spent close to two hours de­liv­er­ing his de­ci­sion in front of a near-packed court­room that ap­peared split be­tween sup­port­ers of the ac­cused and the two com­plainants. The judge noted the ac­cused’s bi­o­log­i­cal daugh­ter tes­ti­fied on de­tails of the al­leged in­ci­dents that were drawn from flash­backs, adding the Crown did not call any ex­perts to tes­tify on the ve­rac­ity of flash­backs ver­sus mem­ory. The judge also high­lighted tes­ti­mony from the com­plainant’s doc­tor that he never saw any sign of sex­ual abuse dur­ing his ex­am­i­na­tions of a vagi­nal yeast in­fec­tion. Chev­erie said the only wit­nesses to the al­leged sex­ual crimes were the two com­plainants and the ac­cused, who took the stand deny­ing all al­le­ga­tions that re­sulted in the five charges. The judge also noted the ac­cused’s step­daugh­ter was a “re­luc­tant com­plainant”. Among no­table dis­crep­an­cies, Chev­erie said the ac­cused’s daugh­ter first told po­lice her fa­ther forced sex­ual in­ter­course with her on three oc­ca­sions. She later told po­lice it was three to five times. In court, she tes­ti­fied her fa­ther raped her four times.

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