Lawyers wrapped up their cases Wednesday in the sexual assault trial of Surrey’s Kyle Berkson, with the defense suggesting that the alleged young victim may have exaggerated or fabricated the entire incident.
Berkson, 36, is accused of sneaking into a nine-year-old girl’s bedroom last April and sexually assaulting her in her bed. He faces charges of breaking and entering with intent to commit sexual assault with a weapon, invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference and uttering threats.
In making his closing submissions, defense lawyer David Gable told the court the case against Berkson is purely circumstantial, and said there are many missing pieces to what he called a “jigsaw puzzle” of evidence.
Gable argued a medical exam provided no solid evidence a sexual assault even occurred – noting an attending doctor said the demeanour of the girl was unusually upbeat under the circumstances.
Gable also said evidence identifying Berkson as the perpetrator is deficient, if a sexual assault indeed occurred. He said the description of the perpetrator varied widely from witness to witness and that perhaps the alleged victim was using Berkson as a “reference point” in terms of providing a description of her attacker.
The Crown disputed the assertion the evidence is only circumstantial, noting there is not only direct and corroborative, but ample physical evidence, such as Berkson’s DNA on the girl’s cheek, a pill bottle of the accused’s found in her bedroom, and the victim’s torn bathing suit bottom.
Prosecutor Lynett Jung argued the “constellation of evidence” proves beyond a reasonable doubt Berkson is guilty on all four charges.
She said Berkson had been in the home many times and was familiar with the unique layout, a witness saw a man similar in description to Berkson sitting in a car adjacent to the victim’s home prior to the offense, and another witness testified the accused had bragged about his ability to crack any lock (his father is a locksmith).
The girl, now 10 years old, testified last week that she woke up in the middle of the night last April 23 to a man sitting on top of her. She said he sexually assaulted her, tried to get her to perform oral sex, licked her cheek and threatened her before leaving. She said the man sounded and “kind of” looked like Berkson, a friend of the family’s, and identified him in the courtroom.
Gable warned to be cautious when dealing with such a young, sympathetic witness as it makes the objectivity of the court that much more difficult.
The judge reserved his decision, but a verdict is expected within the next two weeks.