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

White Rock beach was buzzing with activity on Father’s Day. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: White Rock beach buzzing with activity on Father’s Day

High of 27C drew hundreds of people to the beach

This year’s Virtual Hike for Hospice raised just over $30,000 with the support of participants including Marlene. (Contributed photo)
PHOTOS: Virtual hike raises $30K for Peace Arch Hospice Society

Community support smashes fundraising goal

SFN councillor Joanne Charles, White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker and Coun. David Chesney listen to welcoming remarks from Chief Harley Chappell (Xwopokton). (FIle photo)
White Rock, SFN grieve together on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Residents encouraged to wear orange on Canada Day

Surrey RCMP are investigating after shots were fired at a white Jeep Saturday evening in Newton. (Shane MacKichan photo)
UPDATE: Surrey RCMP asking for video after shots fired in Newton

Surrey RCMP said a silver SUV shot at a white Jeep

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Most Read