House arrest for man who abused disabled B.C. woman, then blamed her

‘Groomed complainant’ and ‘violated position of trust,’ judge says

An Abbotsford man won’t serve any prison time after being convicted of sexually assaulting one of two women with disabilities who were living in his home while his wife cared for them.

The man, whose name is covered under a publication ban that protects the identity of the victim, recently received a six-month conditional sentence (house arrest).

After his arrest, he put part of the blame for the incidents on his victim, who was described in court as having the mental capacity of a first-grader.

The man had previously pleaded guilty in Abbotsford provincial court to one count of sexual assault.

Court documents do not indicate the age of the victim, but say she had the mental capacity of a six-year-old and had been sexually assaulted in the past.

The assailant, in his 60s, was charged after his wife caught him assaulting the victim in May 2017.

In a police interview, the victim disclosed that the man had entered her room, kissed her, and then fondled and groped her.

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She told him to stop, but he refused. The wife – a retired nurse – then walked into the room, and she immediately reported her husband’s offence to her employer.

The victim also told police that a similar incident had taken place a week before.

The court documents state that the man turned himself in to police, and told them that several prior incidents of groping and fondling had occurred in the month prior.

“He disclosed that sometimes he did this more than one time, and that it occurred every couple of days,” the court documents state.

They state that the man was aware that the victim had a mental-health disability and that she has been sexually abused by others in the past.

The court records state that when the man was interviewed by a psychologist, he blamed the complainant, saying that she is “a little promiscuous, and I guess she tempted me and I gave into it.”

But in making her ruling, Judge Kimberley Arthur-Leung said it’s clear that the victim could not have given consent.

“The accused groomed the complainant. He was in a long-term position of trust as a support person for his spouse in the home where the two females resided … He clearly groomed her and violated that position of trust,” she said.

The man moved out of the home immediately after the incident, and does not intend to live with this wife again while she is doing her caregiving job, the court documents state.

He has also been undergoing counselling, and the conditions of his sentence include that he not engage in activities, volunteer work or employment with anyone under the age of 16 or with a mental disability without written permission of his supervisor.

The victim has also been in counselling. The court documents state that she initially reported that she was experiencing nightmares and feeling sad, afraid and angry, but counselling has helped alleviate those feelings.



vhopes@abbynews.com

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