Young complainant's lies lead judge to not-guilty verdict in sex assault trial

Stepdad found not guilty

A Kamloops-area man has been acquitted on allegations he sexually assaulted his young stepdaughter over a period of years after a B.C. Supreme Court deemed the girl’s testimony unreliable.

The 37-year-old man cannot be identified under a court-ordered publication ban put in place to protect the identity of the complainant. Castanet Kamloops is not naming the community in which the allegations are alleged to have taken place to avoid violating the same ban.

The man was accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting his partner’s daughter between January of 2019 and November of 2021. The girl was between the ages of four and seven at the time.

The girl, who is now nine, testified in court on Tuesday. Under cross-examination from defence lawyer Joe Killoran, she admitted to telling lies about the man’s actions. She said she didn’t like him and was happy when he moved out of her house following her allegations.

The girl maintained the sex assaults happened, but B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan said her evidence fell well short of a conviction.

“[She told] deliberate lies about the accused’s conduct. They were untruths that were motivated by her desire to get [him] out of the house or get him in trouble,” the judge said Wednesday in acquitting the man.

“Her evidence has too many significant frailties to rely on for a conviction.”

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