The Chronicle Herald (Metro)
Man convicted of sexually touching ex’s daughter
A man from the Halifax area has been found guilty of two criminal offences for touching his ex-girlfriend's teenage daughter for a sexual purpose on several occasions.
The 58-year-old man's name cannot be reported to protect the identity of the victim, who was 14 when the incidents occurred in the fall of 2017, shortly after he moved in with her family.
He stood trial last month in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on charges of sexual assault and sexual interference.
Justice Scott Norton delivered the verdict this month, saying he was satisfied that the man touched the girl for a sexual purpose five different times.
On one occasion, in October 2017, the man pinned the girl's wrists to the wall and licked her face and neck while saying she was his kitten and needed to be cleaned.
The judge also accepted the complainant's testimony that the man pinched her buttock one day while she was making pancakes, snapped her bra two different days, and tried to pull away a blanket she was using to cover herself after he entered her room while she was changing.
Norton also believed the complainant's evidence that the man slapped her buttocks on two occasions — once while she was making a cake and a few days later in the living room — and grabbed her wrists and pinned her back against the couch another time. But he said he was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that any of that touching was done in a sexual manner.
The first butt-slapping incident was witnessed by a friend of the girl. The complainant's mother testified that she had described her daughter's allegations to the man and he had apologized to her. She said he also acknowledged nuzzling the girl's neck.
The judge rejected the man's testimony that none of the incidents happened and said his evidence did not leave him with a reasonable doubt that the events occurred as described by the complainant.
“(The accused) had difficulty directing his answers to the question asked, both in direct examination and in cross-examination,” Norton said. “There was considerable deflection and distraction in his answers. Instead of responding directly to the question asked, he often responded with some derogatory comment about other witnesses and (the complainant's) father as to their intent to seek revenge against him and his view that they had somehow convinced (her) to assist by fabricating the incidents complained of.
“In other examples, he tried to deflect from the question asked by stating how much he tried to help (her) poor mother and family and painted himself as some sort of saviour of their poor circumstances.“
The man's evidence was contradictory, the judge said.
“For example, at one point he testified that he never put his hands on (the girl) in any way,” Norton said. “At another he said he held her by the waist, above her love handles.”
The man's sentencing hearing is set for late October. He's free on conditions to have no contact with the complainant or her friend and not be around anyone under the age of 16 unless a parent or guardian is present. He also must stay away from schools, parks, playgrounds and other places frequented by children.