Child-assault case in court

Victim tells court accused groped him for 'three or four seconds'.

A 14-year-old White Rock boy took the stand in Surrey Provincial Court Wednesday to testify against a man charged with groping him.

From behind a screen, the soft-spoken teen told Judge Melissa Gillespie that the accused, Robert James Antoniak, came into his room one night in February 2014 – while his dad was in the bathroom during a break from playing cards – put his hand on his bed, and then slid it over top of his “private parts.”

“He put (his hand) on the side of the bed at first,” said the teen – whose identity is protected by a publication ban – in response to questions from prosecutor Adam Jantunen. “I didn’t think anything of it. (Then), he moved his hand toward my left leg… toward my private parts.”

Antoniak was a South Surrey resident at the time of the alleged incident. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and “sexual interference of person under 16.”

The teen went on to tell the court that Antoniak grabbed his penis through the covers and groped it for “three or four seconds,” before he swiped the visitor’s hand away and yelled for his father.

In cross-examination, defence counsel Alexander Ejsmont questioned the accuracy of the boy’s memory. He pointed to differences between what the boy told police a year ago – including that the reason he didn’t speak out right away was because he wasn’t sure if what happened was an accident – and what the court was hearing Wednesday.

“I just didn’t think he would do that type of thing,” the boy said, when asked to explain.

Ejsmont, however, suggested the inconsistencies – which he said included differences in what the boy’s dad told police regarding his own reaction on the night in question, as well as if the accused spent time with the father and son after the incident – were because the incident “never happened.”

“I’m suggesting the reason we can’t get our stories straight… is because Robert was never in your room and never came up to the bed.”

Outside court, Ejsmont told Peace Arch News he did not expect his client – who attended Wednesday’s proceedings with his stepfather – to testify.

The boy’s father told PAN the following morning that  he was “quite proud” of his son for taking the stand, and that his son told him after that he had no problem facing the accused.

The father said his son knows it’s not OK to start a fight, but “he has my full permission to stand up for himself.”

“He knows I’ve got his back,” he said.

The proceedings were expected to wrap up Thursday, after PAN press time.


Just Posted

Cloverdale Rodeo finals hand out $330K to champion riders

Bareback rider Caleb Bennet tied the arena’s record with a 93.5-point ride Monday

‘It’s a game changer’: 15-year-old wins professional skateboarding contest on two skateboards

‘No one has ever seen it before’ said producer of Cloverdale contest

Winners to come to Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Former Zellers to also include a gym and daycare

Peace Arch Hospital, Sources requesting volunteers

Program to help seniors get home safely after hospital stay

Delta looking to add over 30 dedicated pickleball courts by 2022

The program would see eight outdoor pickleball courts built in North Delta before the end of 2019

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Man arrested after police standoff and fire at Abbotsford home

Suspect allegedly breached conditions to not be near victim or her home

Should B.C. already be implementing province-wide fire bans?

A petition is calling for B.C. Wildfire Service to issue a ban to reduce risk of human caused wildfires

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

UPDATE: Highway 1 reopened after multi-vehicle crash east of Chilliwack

Westbound lanes near Herrling Island were closed for hours amid busy holiday weekend traffic

Police watchdog investigating motorcycle crash in Kamloops

A Kamloops Mountie had stopped the driver for speeding, but they raced off from the 0fficer

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Most Read

l -->