Aug 2, 2012 / 4:07 pm
The wife of a man accused of pimping out his stepdaughter in Penticton said he never assaulted the girl or was involved in prostitution in the 15 years she knew him.
The woman who cannot be identified because of a publication ban to protect the victim testified during the continuation of a trial that began in May.
The man is facing 10 charges including sexual assault, living off the avails of prostitution of a person under 18 and an adult or guardian procuring sexual activity.
Much of what she had to say via video in a Penticton court room Thursday mirrored what the accused told the court the day before.
She met the man in Grande Prairie, Alberta around 15 years ago. She had three children including the victim who was around 4 at the time.
The family moved frequently, eventually settling in Penticton where an RCMP officer, who kept a close eye on the family, busted them for possessing and dealing drugs.
The two older children subsequently remained behind and the accused and the victim, then 12, moved to Osoyoos.
There they continued to grow and sell marijuana, while he worked jobs ranging from running a convenience store to working building a home near Kamloops.
It was in the ranch house in Osoyoos, shared by other family members and friends, that the girl testified earlier in the trial the sexual abuse began.
Her mother denied that was ever the case, saying the two were never alone in the house because she weighed almost 500 pounds and was always in the home selling marijuana.
“Nothing ever happened in the house,” she said. “All they did was talk, I know because I walked in and out of the bedroom several times.”
She further said her son, who claimed during the trial he heard sexual noises coming from the bedroom and told his mother about it, was lying.
“He never said that to me, so I could never have given him dirty looks,” she said. “It was also a cinder block house, so it would be impossible to hear noises.”
Nor did a friend who was living in the basement in the house they moved to in Okanagan Falls move out because she was concerned about inappropriate behavior.
Instead the woman left because they got into a fight about her giving the accused cocaine.
The witness was adamant that the man never slept naked with the girl. And she denied ever seeing him touch her breasts or bottom and make rude comments.
“He always wore underwear because he was afraid of the children walking in,” she said.
She did admit that she constantly asked her children if they were being abused but only because she had been sexually assaulted as a child.
When the family moved for a time to Vancouver and Surrey, she again never observed inappropriate behavior between the girl and her stepfather.
She and her husband were too busy working at the time. The only time she observed anything outside the norm was when she came home early from work and learned her daughter had quit going to school.
The family returned to Penticton and lived for a time in the Stardust Motor Inn, where again there were signs something was not quite right.
A friend visiting the motel room said he saw the accused lying on the couch with the girl wearing nothing, but a bath towel, a situation the witness said never took place.
“That did not happen,” she said. “I would have reported it, because I am a mother first and (husband's name - pub ban) and I would have ended up on the street.”
Although school officials brought the prostitution matter to her attention and a known prostitute yelled at her at the beach that the accused was prostituting her daughter, she still chose to believe that wasn’t the case.
“She was yelling at me because (husband's name - pub ban) wouldn’t sell her any heroin,” she said. “She was a crazy crack addicted hooker.”
When she confronted her daughter she said no, and her mother left it at that, claiming she was old enough to know what she was doing.
She did admit to going for walks with the pair to the Soupateria, where the prostitution allegedly took place.
Saying just as the accused did the day before that the two enjoyed each other’s company and were best friends.
She was vague when crown counsel Wendy Kavanagh asked her about her call to a RCMP officer after the girl admitted she had been sexually abused, following her stepfather’s arrest.
“I was stressed out because he had just been arrested,” she said.
Currently she is living on her own in Surrey. Her daughter and her boyfriend moved back to Penticton because she was unwilling to support the boyfriend, she said.
The girl still communicates with the accused and calls him dad.
When asked about a prison phone call, where he said she will hear the truth when he gets out of prison, she denied that was anything out of the ordinary.
“Every family has issues,” she said.
Closing arguments from Kavanagh and defence lawyer James Pennington, before Judge Gregory Koturbash, are expected to be given at a later date.
Read more Penticton News
City of Penticton
Penticton Discussion Forum
Penticton & Wine Country Chamber
Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen
District of Summerland
Summerland Chamber & Tourism
Town of Oliver
Town of Osoyoos
Town of Keremeos
School District 67 - Okanagan Skaha
School District 53 - Okanagan Similkameen
- Something hatching in the Okanagan May 16
- Is Premier eyeing Penticton seat? May 15
- Ashton asks for extended leave from city May 15
- New leader for Penticton RCMP May 15
- Event for man who died in crash May 15