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Northern Peninsula man convicted of repeated sexual assaults against young girl

Proving some of the sex offences a Northern Peninsula man was charged with may come down to the victim’s words against his.

But it is likely one particular incident in which he was literally caught with his pants down that led to findings of guilt.

Judge Wayne Gorman delivered guilty verdicts on eight of the nine charges against the man when he rendered his decision in provincial court in Corner Brook Tuesday afternoon.

The man, who cannot be named because of a publication ban protecting the victim and extending to his identity, maintained his innocence throughout a trial that wrapped up last week.

The eight convictions were registered on four counts of sexual assault, two of sexual interference, one of sexual exploitation and one of breaching a probation order.

The only charge he was acquitted of was a second count of sexual exploitation because it couldn’t be determined for sure the young girl was over the age of 16 when the abusive incident occurred.

Sexual exploitation of a young person is legally defined as a sexual offence committed against a person who is 16 or older but younger than 18.

All of the offences happened when she was between the ages of around 11 to 16.

Most of the incidents the court heard about involved inappropriate touching of the girl’s private parts while she was in her bed. However, in one incident, the man was caught pulling his pants up in a trailer, alone with with the girl, by two other people.

The girl had fallen asleep after she had been drinking. She couldn’t testify as to what exactly had happened to her, but said she awoke to a painful feeling that something had been inserted in her vagina.

Gorman said the young girl’s testimony at trial had been credible, accurate and honest and confirmed by other evidence presented at trial.

The man never took the stand in his own defence, but Gorman felt a statement the man gave to police was concocted. This included the man’s defence that he had removed his pants in the trailer because he was going to take a nap and was seen putting them back on because he had realized he never had any other sleepwear to put on.

The man also maintained that the victim and others had conspired to have him charged with sex offences.

Gorman said the man went to the trailer with the intention of sexually assaulting her, knowing she was there alone.

Defence lawyer Robby Ash has asked for a pre-sentence report be prepared in advance of the court hearing submissions on sentencing. The sentencing hearing has been scheduled for May 23 and the man, who was in custody prior to the trial, has been remanded until he is sentenced.

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