Surrey stepdad cleared of sexual abuse of daughter

Man acquitted of four charges by Surrey Provincial Court judge.

A Surrey man has been cleared of charges he sexually abused his stepdaughter.

On Monday afternoon (May 27), Judge James Sutherland acquitted the accused of four charges – sexual interference of a person under 16, sexual exploitation, sexual assault and assault.

The man cannot be named as there is a publication ban on anything that could identify the alleged victim.

During the trial in February in Surrey Provincial Court, the complainant, who is now 14 years old, testified that her stepfather sexually abused her in the family home when she was between the ages of nine and 12.

She claimed that he would touch her breasts and vagina when he tucked her in bed at night and made her touch his penis on several occasions. The girl also said her stepdad punched her in the face in the fall of 2010.

In his defence, the accused testified the incidents simply did not happen. He denied ever touching his stepdaughter sexually or hitting her, although he admitted he may have raised his voice or called her names when disciplining her.

He testified that he wouldn’t even hug or kiss her at bedtime because “she wasn’t that type of kid.” The girl shared a bedroom with one sister, who never saw anything, and abuse the teen alleged took place in the living room would have been in plain sight of another sister in an adjoining room, said the man.

Judge Sutherland said the case came down to who he found more credible – the man or the girl. He said though he felt the stepdad was evasive at times, there was nothing to cause him to doubt his testimony.

Sutherland said he had concerns about the teen’s reliability. He said the events she described were “violent and invasive and no doubt very dramatic,” often involving verbal exchanges, and yet her sisters who were nearby never witnessed any of it.

The judge said there was a lack of evidence to confirm the allegations, leaving him with reasonable doubt and by law, no choice but to acquit the accused.

The girl’s family was visibly disappointed by the acquittal, while supporters of the man shed tears of relief outside the courtroom.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Surrey rally supports Mona Wang, calls for wellness check reform

Security camera footage shows Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check at UBCO

Filming applications ‘coming in slowly’ to the City of Surrey

Netflix cancels ‘Sabrina’, but filming manager says new calls coming in to film in Cloverdale

‘Did anything good come out of my son’s overdose death?’ – South Surrey mom

Maggie Plett says action still needed on recovery homes

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 11: B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m.

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

Most Read

l -->