The trial for a 50-year-old Raymond, Alta. man charged with multiple counts of sexual assault dating back more than 30 years is nearing its end, as the defence wrapped its case on Wednesday.
The man is facing four counts of sexual assault and two counts of indecent assault involving four underage girls.
Neither the accused nor the victims can be named because the alleged sexual assaults began when they were all underage.
RCMP laid charges after a woman came forward in 2016 and said she was sexually abused as a child by a man who was known to her. Three other women then came forward. Police then arrested the accused and laid charges.
During her testimony, one of the women told court that she was as young as five years old at the time of one of the alleged incidents.
The accused also took the stand in his own defence during the trial.
According to Delon Shurtz with the Lethbridge Herald, the man admitted to touching two of the girls sexually on multiple occasions. The accused told court that when the victims eventually told him they didn’t want to be touched, he stopped.
The accused also testified that he only tried once to inappropriately touch a third girl and denied ever touching a fourth.
The Lethbridge Herald also reported the accused testified that he knew what he was doing was wrong, and shortly after leaving for a mission with his church, he confessed to church leaders and wrote letters of apology to two of the girls, but one woman testified that she never received an apology.
Defence counsel closed its case on Wednesday, with the lawyer for the accused telling the court he will be “inviting to convict” his client on four of the six counts, meaning he is not disputing that there is evidence to convict his client on those counts. However, if this does happen, the lawyer would want one of the counts withdrawn.
The trial is set to resume Thursday morning.
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