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The Crown has concluded its case against a stepfather charged with sexually assaulting his stepdaughter, and the accused had the chance to present his side of the story Wednesday.
Neither his name nor that of the woman can be published. The man presented his version of the 2017 events to Justice Gregory Mulligan yesterday, the third day of the trial.
Crown prosecutor Keith Parkkari concluded his case before the stepfather’s testimony, calling one witness. This was the male friend the complainant called and ask to pose as her father.
The friend confirmed that the woman had asked him that to pose as her father in the matter described in her testimony on Monday.
The stepfather took the stand after. He said he had known the complainant’s mother well before they became a couple. The relationship began eight years ago, and they have been married for six years, living in Dawson City.
He described the relationship with his stepdaughter as cordial, but not close.
He told the court that he is not a heavy drinker. He said this is for professional reasons, as he works on call four to five times a week and cannot show up to a job drunk. He added any drinking would be on weekends.
André Roothman, the man’s lawyer, asked him to address the complainant’s allegations of spousal abuse.
The man said he has never hit the woman’s mother.
“I’ve never raised my hand to my wife,” the stepfather testified.
He added he never pushed her down a set of stairs, as she has alleged.
“That simply did not happen,” he told the court.
At the end of the complainant’s visit to Dawson, he told the court, both she and the mother were supposed to drive her back to Whitehorse to catch her flight home to B.C.
He said the mother was originally going to drive her, but a tax issue came up.
He said he had to deal with this issue, and the couple decided he would drive the complainant to the Whitehorse airport. This was about three to four days prior.
The stepfather said the woman did not raise any objections to him. He added his wife did not bring any objections to him that she heard from her daughter.
They left Dawson on Sept. 29, 2017.
During the drive, he said, she mentioned needing a new car. He said he advised her to sell her car for whatever price she could get, and offered to loan her $1,000 to help pay for a new vehicle. He said she sounded interested and grateful for the offer.
The next day, he did give her the money.
They got to Whitehorse sometime between noon and 1 p.m. Since they were both hungry, he said, they went to eat.
After lunch, they went to the liquor store, where he bought a 15 pack of beer and a bottle of rum for the complainant.
Their next stop was the Best Western Gold Rush Inn, where they checked in at about 2 p.m. The accused said he had booked the room three to four days before leaving Dawson.
He could not remember if anyone had told the complainant they would be sharing a room. He said she did not raise any objections to sharing the room.
He said he took a nap because he was tired from the drive. With the woman gone, he woke up in time for his 3:30 p.m. appointment to deal with his tax issues, he testified.
After his appointment, he went to buy cigarettes, and next to a downtown restaurant to eat, during which he texted the woman, asking her where she was.
She met him at the restaurant, and he bought her mix for the rum.
At around 4 p.m., they returned to the hotel, where they both started drinking. He said he could tell she had already been drinking based on the liquid remaining in the bottle.
She mentioned she wanted to go watch her sister play volleyball. He said he told her that he has an impaired driving conviction and will not drive after drinking. He offered to pay for a taxi.
He told the court the stepdaughter never asked for the money at any point that night.
“The offer was made and it never came up again,” he said.
He believed she had decided not to go see her sister, he said.
He said they next talked about making dinner reservations. They ate at around 8 p.m., then, at approximately 9:30 p.m., went to a nearby bar to play pool.
He said the complainant played pool with him, finishing one game and leaving during their second. He understood she was going to see her sister at a nearby hotel. He was aware that the sister needed to comply with a curfew.
He told the court that he ran into an acquaintance at the bar. He and this person went to the washroom and snorted cocaine.
He asked to purchase cocaine, and the individual gave him the rest of the supply they were using. He estimated the cocaine was one quarter of a gram, but stated he did not know for sure.
“That would be my guess,” he said.
He said he left the bar at 10:30 p.m. and returned to the hotel, continuing to drink and use cocaine.
Worried about the complainant’s whereabouts, he texted her sister to ask where the woman was. He said the stepdaughter returned to the room at around 12:30 a.m.
She was with a taxi driver, and was giving mixed signals, he said.
He could tell she was drunk, and thought something had happened to her, which the cabbie denied. The stepfather then asked him to leave.
He said the woman told him what happened. He offered to call the police, but did not know if the incident would qualify as sexual assault.
“She declined to call the RCMP,” he said.
He said he tried to hide the cocaine under a brochure, but the complainant found it. He alleges that she asked snort a line, and he let her.
The woman told him she had used cocaine previously, and that her male friends have snorted the drug off her body, he told the court.
He alleged she asked him to snort the drug off her body. He claimed she pulled down her pants to allow this, and he snorted cocaine off of her.
He said she snorted more cocaine and eventually took off her clothes herself, saying it was too hot.
“I was shocked,” he said. “I didn’t expect her to do that.”
He alleges she became sexually aggressive toward him. He admitted to taking nude photos of the woman, but later deleted the photos.
After his arrest, he offered to pay to have them recovered.
He claims to have told her he would not engage in any sexual activity, explaining that the cocaine had made him impotent. He denied ever performing oral sex on the woman or trying to have sex with her.
He said he tried to get her to put her clothes back on four times, and only remembers her putting on a shirt.
He estimated he was a six out of 10 drunk that night.
He told the court he felt she was under the influence of something other than alcohol, cocaine and marijuana.
He felt she had done a drug like meth at some point, because her behaviour did not match that associated with the other drugs. He claims to have seen her drunk more than once.
The stepfather’s cross-examination was expected to start today.
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