Sault Ste. Marie man accused of incest insists ‘it never happened’
A 76-year-old Sault Ste. Marie man repeatedly denied Tuesday that he had sexually assaulted his daughter and a young sister-in-law decades ago when the complainants were children.
“False,” he replied to each question his lawyer Wayne Chorney asked about the veracity of the various allegations the two women had detailed when they were on the witness stand in July.
“It never happened” and “absolutely not,” he told the court.
The accused insisted he was “positive” when Chorney wondered if he was certain these things didn’t occur.
Over and over again during cross-examination by prosecutor Trent Wilson, he reiterated “none of that happened” as he was questioned about each specific incident.
“You had a long history of touching your daughter” that began when she was seven years of age and “went to full-blown intercourse,” the assistant Crown attorney suggested.
“No,” the accused responded.
“You had sex with your eight-or-nine-year-old daughter,” Wilson said.
“She cried when it happened.”
Again, he answered “no.”
He gave the same one-word denial when Wilson said he had taken every chance he got to sexually touch his sister-in-law and when she grew too old, he moved on to his own daughter.
He has pleaded not guilty to rape, incest, sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 14 and two counts of indecent assault.
A court order prohibits reporting any information that could identify the complainants.
The two women, in their 50s and 60s, told Superior Court Justice Michael Varpio about incidents they said occurred when they were between the ages of seven or eight and 15.
The judge heard the younger woman complained to city police about what her father was doing to her in 1980, but no charges were laid.
She brought the allegations forward to police again in 2016, and the accused was charged with three offences.
A couple of months later, the second complainant talked to police and two further charges were added.
When he was being examined by Chorney, the accused testified he was a “not so good” father and husband.
He indicated he was involved in six-to-eight extra-marital affairs that began a couple of years after his marriage in the early 1960s.
As well, he admitted he was verbally abusive to his wife, and physically abused her and their daughter.
Both occurred only once, he said, telling the court he had pushed his wife on a bed.
The incident with his daughter occurred “when I told her to do something, she told me to f**k off. I slapped her on the mouth with an open hand and told her to go to her room.”
During his 30-minute cross-examination, Wilson referred to the daughter’s testimony that he had once punched her five times.
“One of my rules is you never punched anyone, always an open hand,” the accused explained. “If it hurts your hand it hurts them.”
He also denied pushing his daughter’s face into a barrel of worms, insisting it was her hand he shoved into the barrel.
The man also testified that he didn’t find his wife’s young sister sexually attractive.
“No, she was a little girl, a little kid,” he told Chorney.
When Wilson pressed him on this, he said he didn’t have time for such things with his job at the steel plant and other work he did.
The Crown suggested he was “over sexed” and would have made time, to which the accused replied “yes, if they were of age.”
The accused indicated he was shocked when he was contacted by a city police detective in 2016 about his daughter’s allegation that he had raped her more than 40 years ago.
Wilson questioned why he was so surprised since similar allegations had been made in the fall of 1980.
When he replied he had heard rumours about that, the Crown reminded him his wife had left him at the end of January that year, after she had confronted him on New Year’s Eve about what their daughter had revealed.
“You know full well why she left,” Wilson said, reminding him that he had denied the accusation at the time and called his daughter a liar.
“It was clear she was leaving because you’d been sexually abusing your daughter,” the prosecutor maintained.
“I didn’t know she was leaving. I came back home (after working a night shift) to an empty house.”
Wilson then asked why his wife left him.
The accused, who earlier said “it was fair to say” his marriage broke down because his wife didn’t keep the house clean, suggested his wife probably left because he had told her if she didn’t like the way he was living to “get the f**k out.”
He agreed that he thought his daughter’s allegations were about money she hoped to receive from the victim compensation fund, as well as to get access to his property.
He also denied he had apologized to his sister-in-law, telling her he was sorry for what he had done to her, when she was around 21 years of age.
Chorney indicated the accused was the only witness the defence was calling.
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