Closing arguments have finished in the trial of a former Vernon teacher accused of historic sex crimes, and the defence is now arguing for the case to be dismissed because of how long it took to bring to trial.
Forty-year-old Anoop Singh Klair was arrested in the fall of 2018 for several charges, including sexual assault and sexual interference of a person under 14. The allegations date back to between 1999 and 2003.
Throughout the trial, court heard from Klair’s alleged victims, who were just young boys when the Crown claims Klair sexually assaulted them.
In closing arguments, the prosecution argued that his accusers were credible, candid and honest in their testimony and that they should be believed.
Klair, however, had previously taken the stand to deny the allegations against him, and the defence argued that his testimony should raise reasonable doubt.
One accuser said Klair sodomoized him with some sort of object, like a toilet brush or plunger.
Others told court that he fondled their genitals when they had to share a bed with him.
The witnesses’ identities are protected under a publication ban.
The Crown argued that the alleged victims gave consistent testimony when it came to the actual assaults, and it’s only peripheral details that sometimes changed.
“Each of the complainants came forward in part to support each other, but also, as one of them put it, to tell history,” Crown prosecutor Margaret Cissell said.
After closing arguments wrapped, the defence argued that this matter took too long to bring before a judge.
Under a Supreme Court ruling, there is a 30-month cap from the time charges are laid until the trial finishes.
The defence argued the Crown should have further tried to expedite the process.
The prosecution countered that the COVID-19 pandemic presented an exceptional time.
It also wasn’t reasonable to expect out-of-province witnesses to travel during that time, Cissell said.
The judge has reserved his decision and is expected to give a verdict sometime in April.