Dad testifies in trial

The father of an alleged sexual assault victim told a Penticton courtroom on Wednesday that his son became extremely closed off, during his friendship with an older man.

The testimony was given during the ongoing trial of TJB*, of Oliver, who is facing charges including sexual interference of a person under 16, invitation to sexual touching under 16 and sexual assault.

The charges are connected to incidents that allegedly took place from June of 2011 to  August of 2012.

The father, who is not identified because of a publication ban on anything that would identify the child, said it was from January to August of 2012 that he noticed the real changes in his son.

The boy went from being an open extrovert to being a complete shelled off introvert, at his place, his ex-wife's place and at school, he said.

The child didn't want to do anything, he didn't want to go out and became extremely fearful, his father explained.

"He wouldn't even go out in the back yard and play, and I have a big backyard," he said.

His attitude changed as well, the father testified, going from being polite to having the whatever attitude and being abusive toward a sibling and rude with his mother and grandmother.

"He just didn't care if he got into trouble," he said.

This behaviour was going on while the boy was in a relationship with TJB, according to the witness.

Earlier in his testimony, he explained the two became really good buddies in June of 2011.

The dad didn't encourage the relationship it just happened and he thought it was a good idea they get close, because of things going on in their lives at the time.

Initially, they became close in a brotherly manner, and the dad didn't see anything out of the ordinary.

It was during a Christmas visit to Vancouver Island that he observed that they seemed very, very close, more than just brotherly hanging out, with TJB needing to be as close as he could be to his son.

It reached the point, where the dad and his mother spoke to TJB about the child not being his son and to give him his own space.

But every time TJB was spoken to, he pouted.

There were also some sleepovers at the dad's house, where the boy was supposed to sleep on a mattress on the floor, while TJB slept on the couch. The dad said when he got up in the night, he observed that TJB had moved on to the mattress and was spooning his son.

The dad then moved the sleeping boy on to the couch.

Then for a time he explained his weekends seemed to disappear, as his son spent more time with TJB.

When the visits starting up again, TJB showed up unannounced and uninvited and the dad told him he was not part of the family and not to come back.

Following an incident in Oliver, involving TJB, another family member and the RCMP, the dad decided his son was not to be around TJB or anyone else in his family.

After that, the witness said, he saw a change in his son. There was relief and he actually appeared to be standing straight rather than slouched over, he explained.

"He had an aura of relief, content, he doesn't have to be or do," he said. "He started to want to do things, come to my shop, be a part of what I was doing. He was overly affectionate, like making up for lost time."

The boy still blamed himself for a lot of things, added the dad. It was on a trip to Vancouver Island in March of 2013 that they had a conversation about what went on between him and TJB.

That same day, the witness said he contacted the Nanaimo RCMP.

The boy testified earlier in the trial about his relationship with TJB, that included the Oliver man having him sit on his lap at the movies, watching porn together and dry humping.

Defence lawyer Michael Welsh asked the witness how he learned words like sexual assault and dry humping during his questioning and about looking things up on his iPod out of curiosity dealing with sex.

The defence questioning of the father is expected to continue on Thursday.

The boy has been given support during the trial by the Urban Bulldogs Against Kids Abuse. Bikers from the Edmonton chapter have joined others at the courthouse to show the child he is not alone and help take the fear away.

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

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