Accused testimony ends

An Oliver man told a Penticton courtroom on Friday that he did not engage in any sexual activities with a young acquaintance during a period from June of 2011 to August, 2012.

TJB*, who is charged with sexual interference of a person under 16, invitation to sexual touching under 16 and sexual assault, provided the testimony on the fifth day of his ongoing trial.

TJB gave his answers during questioning by his lawyer Michael Welsh.

When Welsh asked him if at any time did he expose his genitals to the boy, he responded no. He continued to answer no when asked about putting his hand down the boy's shorts, dry humping him or showering with him.

Instead he claimed in his testimony that it was more of a brotherly relationship and that he felt responsible for the boy.

Creating the concern was an observation of numerous bruises and scratches on the boy's back when they were at a pool and noticing little water bottles he had urinated in and then hidden in the closet in his room.

At the time, TJB said the boy told him he was afraid of waking up his mother and grandmother in the middle of the night. TJB subsequently testified he reported his concerns to the child's teacher.

"In my mind, something was going on, I didn't know by who or what. I felt the more time I spent with him, the less could happen to him," he said.

He also said he never showed the boy pornography, but did notice a bunch of anime porn had been downloaded on his account.

In July 2012, he said he got a bill from Apple for $328, all containing apps he didn't purchase from the boy's iPod, which he claims he confirmed by calling Apple.

Then in mid-January 2013, he started getting more texts from the boy asking for credit card information, so he could download more apps.

TJB claimed he loaned money to the boy's dad on two occasions, most of which was paid back.

He also said he loaned money to the boy's mother to help them cover rent, one month when they were short.

Following an incident on July 15, 2012, when his mother started yelling at TJB to get the boy off her property, TJB left with the boy.

When his mother told him not to come back, he, (TJB), needed a place to stay and asked to stay with the boy's family.

When he was told no, he got very upset, TJB testified.

"I had done so much to help them out with whatever they needed," he said.

The prosecutor then asked, and they still owed you rent money, with TJB answering yes.

He said he didn't see the boy after that. 

It was at a dance in February, 2013 that an individual came up to him and said there were rumours around town that he was a pedophile and that he had abused the boy.

"I was very upset and very shocked," he said. "I didn't know how to react."

That same night, he called and arranged for an interview with the RCMP a few days later where a statement could be made.

It was in mid-March 2013, he was contacted by the police regarding the charges against him.

During cross examination by crown counsel Catherine Crockett, she asked about the kinds of games the two played together and gifts he gave the boy, which included an iPod and snowboard.

She stated that he was particularly generous to the boy, to which he responded, "no, not particularly."

She further observed that the boy was the only one TJB took on certain outings and that he never had any of the other kids sleep over.

He was also asked about the time he volunteered at the boy's school, which ended when the principal spoke to him about getting a little too close with the boy, who was giving TJB hugs.

TJB said he was agreeable to the principal's suggestion to step back and return the following year.

When questioned by crown counsel that some of the things the boy talked about doing are not things an 11-year-old would know, TJB's response was, "you would know if you watched porn."

Her next question was, "you didn't know about things like that when you were 11, to which TJB responded "sure I did, I began liking girls when I was 9."

TJB's statement concluded a week of testimony from witnesses including the boy and his parents.

The parents claimed they saw changes in their son, including going from an extrovert to an introvert, during the time he was with TJB. The relationship between the two started after TJB's father died in June of 2011.

The boy was given support during the trial by members of the Urban Bulldogs Against Kids Abuse.

Bikers from the Edmonton chapter showed up earlier in the week to show the boy he is not alone and take the fear away.

Lawyers suggested the trial continue on Oct. 14 and 15. The case was set over to Sept. 22 to confirm dates that will work.

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

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