Sex assault trial begins

The trial for an Oliver man accused of sexually assaulting a child started in a Penticton courtroom on Monday.

TJB* is facing charges including sexual interference of a person under 16, invitation to sexual touching under 16 and sexual assault stemming from incidents that allegedly took place from June of 2011 to August of 2012.

Two other counts were stayed and TJB has pleaded not guilty to the three he is still facing.

In order to protect the identity of the alleged victim, there is a publication ban in place.

Crown counsel Catherine Crockett said TJB developed a relationship with the child after the death of his, (TJB's) father, and it continued until sometime in the summer of 2012.

During that time, she said, TJB allegedly touched the child's private parts and had the child touch his private parts.

She estimated she would be calling three witnesses over the course of the trial, including the child and the child's parents.

The first witness was the alleged victim via video. The child described meeting TJB when he showed up at a playground. He, (TJB), seemed pretty cool at the time and they started hanging out.

Sometimes they would go out, the witness said, but mostly they were at TJB's house. Among the activities they engaged in were watching TV and playing video games.

The alleged victim was also shown a map of TJB's home and asked to describe what was in different rooms and what went on there.

A description of the home and what was in the rooms, including several games, took up much of the initial testimony on the trial's first day.

Also in attendance were supporters of the alleged victim, with U.B.A.K.A. Urban Bulldogs Against Kids Abuse.

They arrived wearing vests stating their name, but were asked by the judge not to wear the vests in the courtroom or the courthouse.

The trial is expected to continue on Tuesday.

*this story has been modified to comply with a court ordered publication ban


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