Photo by Whitehorse Star
A stepfather accused of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter went through his cross-examination by the Crown during the fourth day of his trial Thursday in Whitehorse.
The names of both the stepdaughter and the stepfather cannot be published.
Before Justice Gregory Mulligan, Crown prosecutor Keith Parkkari asked if he has three stepdaughters living in his household in Dawson City.
The man said that’s true, explaining he has been acting as a father figure in each of their lives for the past several years.
He said he attends the girls’ school and extracurricular activities on occasion.
Parkkari said the stepfather described his relationship with the complainant as cordial. He asked him to explain what that meant.
The man clarified that the relationship was not that of a father and a daughter. He said the relationship was more of a friend than a daughter.
He told the court it was friendly up until the alleged incident that’s the subject of this trial.
Parkkari asked about the complainant’s sister’s volleyball tournament that was taking place while the man and the woman were in Whitehorse on Sept. 29 and 30, 2017. He asked if there was any reason why the accused could not go to the tournament.
The man said there was not. He said he could have attended, but chose to eat dinner and drink alcohol.
The Crown pointed out that the man understood the complainant wanted to attend the sporting event, and would need a ride.
The stepfather told the court he had believed the tournament was occurring at a school near downtown Whitehorse. He would later learn it was at a school in Porter Creek.
Parkkari next posed a series of questions about the man’s relationship with the complainant’s mother, asking if he consults her on major expenses.
The man said he does talk to his wife about large personal expenses. If the purchase in question is related to his business, he stated, he would not consult his wife.
The Crown asked if the man had talked to his wife before lending the stepdaughter $1,000 to help her buy a new car; he said he had not.
Parkkari asked if he financially supports the complainant; the accused replied he does not.
Parkkari asked if the man keeps track of his expenses as a businessman. The stepfather said he does. He added that he does use his business account for some personal expenses, like purchasing wood for his stove at home.
The Crown asked who in the household buys gifts for their daughters. The man said he purchases most of the gifts, but his wife does as well.
Parkkari asked if the man ever bought gifts for the complainant.
The accused told the court he has. He testified about a family trip to the a water park in Vancouver sometime in 2015, which included the complainant.
He said this trip included the wife’s children as well as his own.
He added he gave money to the woman during her visit to Dawson, which was used for her personal expenses and her cigarettes. He said he gave her money during the 2017 visit, but does not remember how much.
The Crown asked the man what pants he was wearing the night of the alleged assault in the Whitehorse hotel and when he had taken them off.
The stepfather said he was wearing blue jeans, and had taken them off 30 minutes before going to bed. He added the complainant was nude at the time.
He alleged, during his testimony on Wednesday, that she took off her clothes herself after snorting cocaine and saying the room was too hot. He claims she was sexually aggressive afterward.
Parkkari asked if she was still acting aggressively when the man removed his pants.
The stepfather explained the woman’s sexual aggression was dying down, but that she had not fully settled by that point.
The Crown later showed the man a video the RCMP had retrieved from his phone. It shows he was wearing what appears to be grey track pants.
The man said he did not remember recording that video, but did not dispute what was shown. He explained that he wore the track pants for the drive from Dawson to Whitehorse, and was positive that he had changed into the jeans in the hotel in Whitehorse.
Parkkari pointed out that the man claimed to have left Dawson at 8 a.m. on Sept. 29, 2017 and pulled into Whitehorse sometime between noon and 1 p.m.
He added the man told the court the drive lasted five to six hours. He said this timeframe does not work, and asked if the details were wrong.
The stepfather agreed, saying his timeframe could be off.
The Crown suggested that the man had not texted the complainant at any point during the evening to try to learn of her whereabouts.
Parkkari pointed out there was nothing in the extraction report of the man’s phone to suggest he did. He provided the man with the report to review over a court break.
After looking over the document, the man disagreed. He pointed out that he sent the complainant a text message at 12:26 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2017. Parkkari apologized for not noticing this detail.
The Crown asked how much cocaine was used between the man and the woman. The stepfather estimated that he got 14 lines out of the supply.
“I got that out of whatever I had,” the man testified.
Parkkari asked if he was sure about his estimate (under a gram) of the amount of cocaine.
The accused said he does not know how large the supply was. It could have been more, he added, but he was not in a position to give an accurate measurement.
The Crown referenced text messages between the stepfather and his wife. Parkkari pointed out one where the man said he would be staying in Whitehorse for a few days due to his cocaine use.
The stepfather admitted to sending this text, explaining it was in the context of teasing his wife.
On Monday, the complainant – a B.C. resident – made reference to the man asking her to stay in the territory with him for another day.
On Wednesday, the man said he offered to book the woman a later flight due to how they felt when they woke up the next morning after a night of drinking and cocaine use.
André Roothman, the stepfather’s lawyer, did not conduct a re-examination.
Closing submissions began this morning.
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