A man found guilty of several child pornography and sex offences – some involving his own step-daughter over a six-year period – has lost a bid for a new trial.
In July 2011, the man, who cannot be named as it could identify his victims, was convicted of three sexual offences against his common-law wife’s daughter, two sexual offences against the daughter’s friend, two child pornography charges and one count of uttering threats.
The man, identified as L.V.R. in court documents, was with his common-law wife for about eight years before their relationship ended in 2000. The woman came into the relationship with the daughter and the couple subsequently had a son together.
After the break-up, the daughter, who was then about eight, continued to see her step-dad.
During the trial, the daughter said her relationship with her dad became sexualized when she was 10 years old. She said it advanced to sexual intercourse when she was 13 and only stopped when a friend saw them having sex during a sleepover in 2008. The friend testified L.V.R. also rubbed her legs and thighs. The girls were both 16 years old at the time.
The friend told the daughter’s mom and police were called. During the investigation, police found 34 nude photographs of the daughter, taken when she was 14 and 15, and one video of L.V.R. having sex with her.
The evidence was found on a computer in the man’s home during the execution of a night search warrant.
At trial, L.V.R. testified the relationship was consensual and initiated by the girl.
In appealing his conviction, he argued there were no reasonable grounds for the night search and that the search warrant was issued in error. The appeal court judges, however, agreed with the trial judge, who said the seriousness of the matter and disposable nature of the items justified the night search.
L.V.R. also questioned the judge’s reliance on the transcript statement of his step-daughter, which was provided to the judge but not entered as evidence at trial, and said the judge demonstrated favouritism toward the step-daughter.
In a Sept. 12 decision, B.C. Court of Appeal Justice Mary Saunders, with Justices Mary Newbury and David Harris in agreement, rejected L.V.R.‘s contention he did not receive a fair trial and dismissed the appeal.