WARNING: STORY CONTAINS GRAPHIC DETAILS THAT MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME
An Alberta father facing nearly two dozen charges connected to the alleged sexual assault of his three daughters appeared in court Monday.
The 41-year-old man, who isn’t being identified to protect the alleged victims, appeared in a courtroom in Evansburg, Alta. via CCTV.
The date was put over to July 24, when the father is ordered to appear. The accused said: “Thank you, your honour” after the judge set the date.
The man is being held in protective custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre.
He is accused of sexually abusing his daughters over a six-year period. One of the daughters was allegedly sold for sex with strangers on multiple occasions, which were recorded by the father, according to ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit.
The man’s charges include five counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual exploitation, two counts of incest, two counts of parent procuring child for sexual activity, and two counts of sexual assault with a weapon.
He’s also facing 17 firearms-related charges. Police said about 40 restricted handguns and rifles were seized from his rural property, including a machine gun, during his arrest in November 2016.
The investigation started in October 2016, after a witness came forward with an allegation of abuse, which police said was critical in the investigation and charges being laid.
Allan Sutton stood outside the Evansburg provincial court building Monday morning with a sign that read “Some people just need a hug…around the neck…with a rope.”
The 69-year-old also had a noose in hand, which he said was “for the accused,” as well as pliers used on sheep, which he said should be used on the individuals who allegedly paid to have sex with one of the girls.
“I believe that if you hold them the same way you hold the sheep, because they are sheep too, and I’ll just do a little squeeze on their testicles,” Sutton said.
He drove from Seba, Alta. after hearing about the case Friday. Sutton said he has no connection to anyone involved in the case.
Janaya Fehr, Janelle Chechotko and Teresa Fonstad were in the court room Monday morning to show their support for the alleged victims.
“In a small town like this, you know them. We never would have thought it would have happened here,” Fonstad said
“Everyone is just not sure…they’re really surprised,” Chechotko said. “When I first heard I couldn’t believe it. I honestly didn’t believe it until I saw the news report.”
Other residents echo the feelings of shock around Evansburg, which is about 107 kilometres of west of Edmonton.
“Maybe our court systems will step up to the plate,” resident Jim Fehr said. “It’s just unbelievable. What do you do though?”
“It’s quite a friendly town as a rule. I do stay at my daughter’s place out of town. I come here quite often. It’s going to be tough for the people here,” Bob Farnham said.
Watch below: Raw video of ALERT news conference on an Alberta father being charged with the alleged sexual assault of his three daughters and the alleged selling of one of them for sex.
The victims are receiving help from a variety of support services.
“We have spoken with the victims since that day and they’re moving forward. It’s going to be a long recovery, but it is as if they have been emancipated from the grip or the prison of the father,” Alert Internet Child Exploitation unit Staff Sgt. Stephen Camp said.
Police said the girl’s mother lived at home but was not aware of the alleged abuse. She was also a victim, according to police.
There were two sons also living in the rural residence who weren’t identified as victims.
Watch below: Investigators are describing the case as horrific, evil and nauseating. An Alberta father faces 40 charges including incest, sexual assault with a weapon. Fletcher Kent reports. GRAPHIC WARNING.